While talk of Presidential impeachment is difficult to avoid, probably few can recite how the impeachment of a federal judge in 1912 helped to secure the independence of the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) and its Surface Transportation Board (STB) successor.
Interstate Commerce Commission
On 74 acres in central Virginia, there graze for commercial production some two-dozen Himalayan yaks—a largely fat-free, shaggy, handlebar-horned and oft cantankerous animal first imported to North America during the 19th century. If the connection of yak and its fat to transportation economic regulation is not obvious, blame your youth, as more than half a century has passed since the Great Yak Fat Caper of 1965 entered railroad lore—a dirty-trickster’s fraud now indelibly stained on the Interstate Commerce Commission’s (ICC) reputation, and, by association, its Surface Transportation Board (STB) successor.
For more than three decades, railroad regulators have used the same method to determine which shippers are captive; and, if so, to determine a remedy to limit railroad market power and assure rates charged captive shippers are reasonable.
Even The New York Times, the nation’s newspaper of record, missed, in its lengthy obituary, the absorbing connection between railroads and former Republican Sen. Warren Rudman of New Hampshire, who died Nov. 19 at age 82.