Surface Transportation Board Reauthorization Act of 2015

STB: Heed Seriously the Yak Fat Ghost

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.

STB 3Q report to Congress: We’re working on it

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”:

Dan Elliott departing STB

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.

Begeman named STB Acting Chairman

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.

STB’s Begeman confirmed to second term

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.