WASHINGTON, D.C. – August 2, 2022 – The House Railroads Subcommittee today introduced the “Freight Rail Shipping Fair Market Act,” an untenable bill that could further exacerbate current supply chain and service challenges and that threatens the long-term viability of the nation’s freight rail system.
“This imprudent proposal turns the clock back more than 40 years and reinstates an unbalanced regulatory framework that replaces free-market principles with unjustified government mandates,” said AAR President and CEO Ian Jefferies. “Since the industry was partially de-regulated in 1980, freight railroads have invested nearly $760 billion to improve the safety, competitiveness and sustainability of their operations. Their ability to continue this level of spending is critical to meeting today’s and tomorrow’s freight demands. Safe, reliable, cost-effective and fuel-efficient freight rail transportation is essential to our future. Overreaching re-regulation will take us backward and won’t do a thing to solve current service challenges and supply chain problems.”
In testimony before the House T&I Rail Subcommittee this past May, STB Chairman Oberman agreed. He explained that expanding the Board’s oversight would not help with the labor and supply chain challenges freight railroads are working to solve and noted that “the Board can use its existing authority to mitigate those problems in a meaningful way.”
Jefferies noted, “Today’s STB is exercising its oversight authority vigorously. Almost half of the proposed bill is already the subject of ongoing Board proceedings. Congress should learn from lessons of the past: more government control does not result in better railroads. By virtue of today’s balanced regulatory framework, America’s freight railroads are, by virtually any measure, the best national freight rail system in the world. Now more than ever, we need that best-in-class system, and it is not the time for railroads to be hamstrung by excessive regulation.”
For more information, contact: AAR Media Relations at [email protected] or 202-639-2345.
About AAR: The Association of American Railroads (AAR) is the world’s leading railroad policy, research and technology organization focusing on the safety and productivity of rail carriers. AAR members include the major freight railroads of the U.S., Canada and Mexico, as well as Amtrak. Learn more at www.aar.org.