Ask Congress to Rein in the STB (All States)
Partial economic deregulation of private freight railroads in 1980 forged a rail renaissance that has made U.S. freight railroads the envy of the world.
Today's market-based, balanced regulatory framework allows freight railroads to operate like other private businesses and to earn enough revenue to make massive, necessary investments into maintaining and expanding their infrastructure. Crucial spending on infrastructure, equipment and technology has created the healthiest, safest and most efficient rail network ever.
Some large companies that ship by rail, however, continue to push the U.S. Surface Transportation Board (STB) -- the government agency that oversees economic regulation of railroads -- to change the balance of rail regulations in their favor. The STB is actively considering several new significant regulations that, taken together, could fundamentally change the ability of railroads to operate like private companies. Among them, for example, are proposals that would force them to turn over their traffic to their competitors, that would deregulate categories of commodities carried by railroads and that would let the government impose a cap on the rates they can charge their customers.
These proposals contradict laws passed by Congress that direct the STB to enact policies that enable railroads to earn enough revenues to operate and maintain their networks. These policies have worked. Yet, the STB is holding a hearing on December 12 to consider dramatically changing today's successful framework. If these proposals are adopted, rail rates could be determined by the government rather than the market. This would ultimately undercut railroads' ability to invest in their networks -- and at a time when the nation needs railroads to haul more freight and reduce the strain on our overwhelmed highway network.
Every ton of freight moved by rail strengthens the economy, creates jobs, mitigates pollution and saves taxpayer money. Please use the form below to contact your members of Congress and ask them to keep the STB from going too far.
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