The Hill: Administration Eyes Re-Regulation of Rail Industry; Would Magnify Supply Chain Problems

Given the supply chain shortages and mounting inflation dragging down the economy, proposed regulations by the Surface Transportation Board (STB) could not have come at the worse time. Yet, the STB has so far not provided any quantitative analysis showing that these regulations are necessary or that they would benefit consumers. It is time for […]

Coalition Sends a Letter to the STB in Opposition to Mandated Switching Regulations

Today, forty nonprofit policy organizations submitted a letter to the Surface Transportation Board (STB) in regard to a docket that considers forcing rail operators to open their privately-owned networks to competitors at artificially set prices, commonly referred to as reciprocal switching. The evidence on record shows that these proposed regulations would be harmful to rail […]

ACI Files Comments with the STB

The American Consumer Institute (ACI) filed comments today with the Surface Transportation Board (STB), the agency with regulatory oversight over rail transportation, regarding proposed rules that would mandate rail operators to provide competitors with open access to their privately owned networks. In its filed comments to the STB, ACI explained how these regulations would negatively […]

FreightWaves: How Forced Access Can Harm Consumers: Q&A With Steve Pociask

Rail shippers face the potential for new regulations. One specifically, would require railroads to share their privately-owned infrastructure. One skeptic of this regulation is Steve Pociask, an economist with the American Consumer Institute Center for Citizen Research, a nonprofit think tank that aims to examine how public policy impacts consumers. He co-authored an October 2021 report with Liam […]

The Hill: Rail Regulators Should Continue 40 Years of Success, Not Return to Failed Policies

History shows that ending onerous rail regulations was an indisputable success, proving that railroads could thrive, and deliver tens of billions of dollars of economic benefits to consumers. There is nothing about the current railroad industry challenges that conclusion. As the U.S. supply chain faces unprecedented challenges and consumers see marked price increases for the […]

Townhall: Government Regulations Threaten to Derail Consumers

Freight rail has been an unquestionable success of government deregulation. Since deregulation was passed over forty years ago, America’s rail freight industry has gone from the brink of collapse to one of the most efficient and productive. A recent report from the American Consumer Institute (ACI) has highlighted this fact, showing since the passage of the Staggers […]

Delaware Valley Journal: Pennsylvania Rail Regulator Has Opportunity To Help Consumers, Economy

While new powers in Washington may feel a reflexive need to regulate more – undoing parts of the Trump administration’s policies – rail regulation at the STB should not be part of this agenda. In fact, the past regulatory reforms noted here were all spearheaded as Democratic policies, and they worked. For these reasons, the […]

The Hill’s Congress Blog: Proposed Rail Regulations Are Bad for Consumers, Workers and the Environment

Undermining railroad investment is a dangerous risk that could eventually lead to underperformance by railroads, produce financial losses, and increase market shares for the trucking industry. As trucking increases, environmental concerns increase along with congestion and added pollution. Compared to trains, trucks create three times more pollution per ton. By one estimate, taxpayers will face […]

Morning Consult: Forget the Derailed Policies of the Past and Put Rail Policy Back on Track

The Surface Transportation Board has recently proposed regulations that would control the prices and earning of railroad carriers. The regulations, however, are eerily similar to those previously repealed that devastated the rail industry nearly 50 years ago. The American Consumer Institute recently released a report on these newly proposed policies stating, in a nutshell, that the current proposed […]

A Competitive Rail Industry Benefits Consumers, Workers, and the Environment

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.