Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Seminole Electric details alleged CSXT overcharges

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Seminole Electric Cooperative, Inc. announced that it filed evidence Monday with the Surface Transportation Board "demonstrating that since Jan. 1, 2009, CSX Transportation, Inc. has been severely overcharging Seminole, its owner-member cooperatives, and their members' consumers for coal transportation service." CSXT hauls coal from the Illinois Basin and Appalachia to Seminole generating station near Palatka, Fla.

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Seminole initiated a proceeding under the STB's Coal Rate Guidelines, which began in October 2008, challenging rates quoted to meet Seminole's coal fuel requirements. The rates went into effect over Seminole's objection on Jan. 1.

The cooperative said its evidence "shows that the CSXT rates from the Illinois Basin and Appalachia mines are 68% to 101% higher than the maximum levels under the STB`s guidelines. The CSXT rates on certain shipments from Charleston, S.C., are more than 24% higher than the lawful maximum."

jay-rockefeller.jpgSeminole's filing comes at a time when railroads are under attack for what some customers view as monopolistic pricing. In a press statement Monday, Seminole CEO Tim Woodbury said the case "highlights why we need effective regulatory relief from the STB." A legislator familiar with Appalachian coal interests--West Virginia Democratic Senator John D. Rockefeller III (pictured at right)--is chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, where legislation addressing the concerns of rail customers is under discussion.