Thursday, December 17, 2009

AAR notes concern, urges caution, on Senate STB bill

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Association of American Railroads President and CEO Edward R. Hamberger Thursday issued a statement commenting on the Senate Commerce Committee markup of the Surface Transportation Board Reauthorization Bill.


Said Hamberger, "We appreciate the efforts of the Senate Commerce Committee, under the leadership of Chairman [Jay] Rockefellerand Senator [Kay Bailey] Hutchison and senior Committee members of both parties, to work with all freight stakeholders over the last several months in developing this legislation.”

Rockefeller (D. W.Va.) in years past has criticized the freight rail industry; Hutchison (R-Tex.) is ranking member of the committee.

"This bill would be the most significant rewrite of the railroad industry's regulatory system in the last three decades. Under the bill, Class I railroads would be required to open their privately owned and maintained rail networks and would face vastly expanded government involvement in railroad operations,” Hamberger said.

"We continue to have concerns about certain provisions in the bill, particularly the nature and scope of the antitrust provision that may be added at a later date, and we will remain engaged with the Commerce Committee, Congress, and the Administration, to craft final legislation that ensures railroads can continue to make the investments that sustain a healthy national rail network," he said.

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