ConsumerGram: Reregulating Railroads is the Wrong Track for Consumers

Today, the American Consumer Institute Center for Citizen Research announces the release of its newest ConsumerGram, outlining the importance of freight rail and how reregulating the industry would be detrimental to American consumers.

Prior to 1980, the financial viability of the rail industry was threatened by overly-burdensome regulations that drove-up operating costs and increased the price of consumer goods. Realizing the impact this had on constituents, Congress moved to deregulate the freight rail sector.

Today, freight rail is a healthy and integral part of the U.S. economy—a status made possible by the smart regulatory environment for nearly 40 years. Analysis of the most recent data available shows the freight rail sector has contributed $274 billion in total economic output, directly or indirectly supports 1.5 million American jobs and adds tens of billions of dollars in private infrastructure investment each year. Furthermore, approximately one-third of US exports and 40% of intercity freight are transported by rail. Overall, regulatory reform has led to $10 billion in consumer benefits each year.

Despite these proven results, however, the U.S. Surface Transportation Board—created by Congress in 2015—has proposed several new regulations that could once again threaten the solvency of the freight rail industry—ultimately leading to increased consumer prices.

To learn more about the freight rail industry and what Congress should do, visit the American Consumer Institute or http://www.theamericanconsumer.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/RR-CG-Final.pdf.

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