This past week, Democratic representatives on the Hill unveiled the text of a colossal $1.5 trillion infrastructure bill. Dubbed the Moving Forward Act, the plan offers a mile-long shopping list for federal spending—from clean energy to the postal service. But the flurry of ambitious projects draws attention away from the fact that businesses, workers, and consumers across the […]
Experts can quibble about the pros and cons of such government largesse — after all, it is not the business community’s fault that the virus shuttered much of the U.S. and global economies. But what is not up for debate is that our nation will be forever altered. Many firms will not survive, and many […]
As grocery stores across the nation are experiencing shortages, having efficient transportation, like freight trains, to deliver grains, raw materials, chemicals that go into cleaning solutions, and other supplies is of utmost importance. Yet, the next stimulus plan, a proposed house infrastructure bill, could weaken the rail industry by mandating minimum crew sizes, regulating train […]
America’s railroads provide cost-effective freight transportation for consumers and thousands of jobs for workers—all while generating a fraction of the emissions of its competitors. These benefits are the product of deregulation in the 1980s that slashed inefficiency and brought the railroads back from the brink of collapse.
However, a new report highlights how these public benefits are once again coming under pressure from proposed onerous regulations. History shows that price setting and regulatory meddling will eventually extinguish the benefits that rail transportation affords.
For much of the 20th century, federal regulators tightly controlled the railroad industry, including rail investment and prices. By the 1970s, several major carriers were on the verge of bankruptcy, and lawmakers, facing the prospect of costly bailouts, acted boldly and repealed onerous regulations, allowing market forces to re-energize the industry. In the 40+ years […]
Liquified natural gas (LNG) is a versatile and affordable source of energy that is increasingly abundant across America. An inability to bring much of this gas to market, however, stands between the country’s newfound resources and the communities who need it. To lower energy costs for consumers and untether the potential of the rail industry, […]
This op-ed looks at legislation, introduced in Georgia, that seeks in increase the crew size on trains. Unfortunately, the regulations would not increase train safety. Instead, it would increase shipping cosst of consumer goods, thereby pushing more freight to trucks — all of which would increase traffic accidents, infrastructure wear and tear, and emissions. To […]
Slated to join the U.S. Surface Transportation Board (STB), the primary agency tasked with overseeing the financial functions of private U.S. freight railroads that maintain an outsized presence in Chicago, is former Metra Chairman Martin Oberman. If confirmed – likely in the lame duck session in the U.S. Congress – Oberman will need to deal […]
The Surface Transportation Board (STB) is considering rules that could drive up consumer costs and is unnecessary. If confirmed by the Senate in the next few weeks, the incoming members of the STB should recognize the lessons of history and oppose any effort to expand the use of forced access in the railroad industry. To read […]
A powerful coalition of businesses recently sent a letter to President Donald Trump, urging action from his administration and the U.S. Senate to fill vacant commissioner positions at an obscure yet powerful federal agency known as the Surface Transportation Board (STB). An independent agency tasked with oversight of the business dealings of freight railroads and […]