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.
Surface Transportation Board Reauthorization Act of 2015
For 54 weeks beginning in 2003, Roger Nober was the lone member of the Surface Transportation Board (STB), tormented that if he discussed cases with himself he would violate the Government in Sunshine Act, which prohibits a quorum from discussing anything of substance outside a properly noticed public meeting.
Nearly 11 months into the Administration of Donald J. Trump, leadership appointments at the three federal regulatory agencies of significant importance to railroads—the National Mediation Board, Federal Railroad Administration and Surface Transportation Board—have yet to be finalized.
In its Third-Quarter 2017 report to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation-Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety and Security, the Surface Transportation Board provided an update on no fewer than nine pending STB regulatory proceedings, “matters that may be of interest”:
The Surface Transportation Board (STB) is looking to revisit and modify its longstanding rules on ex parte* communications in informal rulemaking proceedings, which up until recently have mostly been prohibited.
Former Surface Transportation Board (STB) chairman and now STB member Dan Elliott announced Sept. 25 he is resigning Sept. 30 to join, in early October, the Washington, D.C., office of the law firm, Connors & Winters, whose specialization is employee compensation, health and benefit plans, and employment law.
As a perfect scene does not a great movie make, ideal legislation cannot deliver its intent absent proficient administration.
Expediency over principle describes a unanimous vote Jan. 27 by the three Surface Transportation Board (STB) members—Acting Chairman Ann Begeman, a Republican, and Democrats Dan Elliott and Deb Miller.
U.S. Surface Transportation Board Member Ann Begeman on Jan. 25 was named Acting Chairman by President Donald J. Trump. Begeman, a Republican, is currently serving a second, five-year term as an STB Member following her recent nomination by President Barack Obama on Dec. 7, 2016, and her unanimous confirmation by the U.S. Senate on Dec. 9, 2016.
President Obama on Dec. 7 nominated Ann Begeman to another five-year term on the Surface Transportation Board. She was approved by voice vote in an Executive Session of the Senate Commerce Committee within hours of Obama’s nomination reaching the Committee, and then quickly confirmed by the full Senate on Dec. 9.