CASE Joins Coalition Letter to Senate Opposing Price Controls and Re-Regulation of Freight Railroads
CASE, Consumer Action for a Strong Economy, a national organization devoted to promoting consumer interests through free-market principles, today joined two dozen organizations in a letter urging leaders on the Senate Commerce and Transportation Committee to oppose efforts to impose new mandates and price controls on freight railroad carriers.
Specifically, the letter asks Senators to thoroughly vet nominees to the two open positions on the Surface Transportation Board (STB) to ensure they possess a “sound understanding of the economic principles surrounding the freight railroad sector and who will reject misguided efforts to re-regulate our nation’s freight rail industry.”
The full letter can be read here:
The coalition is especially concerned about proposed re-regulation on the largest carriers (Class 1) pertaining to reciprocal switching. This would require them to handle the cars of competing carriers at an artificially low rate, a new mandate on carriers that would undermine a regulatory framework in place since 1980. The current framework has worked exceptionally well for both carriers and consumers, which has raised concerns about the new regulatory proposals.
Said CASE President Matthew Kandrach, “Government overreach threatens to undo years of progress, investment and improved infrastructure in the rail industry that has been of tremendous benefit to America’s economy and American consumers. Since 1980 the freight industry has witnessed tremendous growth as a backbone of our nation’s transportation infrastructure, with better service across all sectors of our economy. Threatening our current system with new regulations and price controls is the last thing we need. It will make rail less efficient and less competitive, with the negative fallout impacting consumers with higher costs and less choice.
“On behalf of America’s consumers and working families, we cannot emphasize strongly enough how important the upcoming nominations to the STB will be in keeping our critical railroad infrastructure and America’s economy on track. It is vital that any nominee approved by the Senate reject efforts to undermine our current freight rail framework with costly and unnecessary mandates that will only hurt consumers.”