The Senate Commerce Committee will vet Trump administration nominees for the Surface Transportation Board (STB) this Wednesday, beginning the process of filling three vacancies at the independent agency tasked with oversight of the railroads. Make no mistake: while the STB may not garner the attention of cabinet agencies such as the EPA or even other independent bodies like FERC or the FCC, it has significant power. Out of sight and out of mind to many, private freight railroads serve a critical role in U.S. commerce, thus making the outsized role of the STB critical to the health of the U.S. economy.
The nominees and Senate Committee members should understand that the rail industry is one of America’s greatest deregulatory stories; and they all should stand firm behind the strong economic evidence and oppose efforts to enact backdoor rate regulations at the expense of consumers.
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