WASHINGTON, D.C. — July 25, 2017 — Testifying today before the Surface Transportation Board’s (STB) Regulatory Reform Task Force, Association of American Railroads (AAR) President and CEO Edward R. Hamberger stressed that the agency, which is tasked with regulating freight railroads and their privately owned infrastructure, should work to promote and defend the economic regulatory structure Congress established more than 35 years ago through the Staggers Act, which deregulated important aspects of railroad pricing and routing.

Following partial deregulation that eliminated unnecessary, burdensome, and outdated regulations, the private freight rail industry has poured more than $635 billion of private capital – an average of $60 million a day – back into the 140,000-mile rail network to grow, maintain, and modernize a rail system that is the envy of the world. In the time since the Stagger’s Act, average rail rates have fallen approximately 45 percent and train accidents are down 78 percent.

“The STB has a critical role to play in actively promoting and defending the regulatory structure that Congress has devised,” said Hamberger. “A number of important issues await action by a full Board, but the Regulatory Reform Task Force through critical sessions like this will be prepared to guide action once members are confirmed. We in the rail industry look forward to working with the Task Force and the Board to ensure that balanced, reasonable regulations meet the needs of rail customers, railroads, and the American public.”

Today’s listening session focused on efforts to streamline agency processes and offered stakeholders the opportunity to outline their views on regulations that should be repealed, replaced, or modified. In his remarks, Hamberger called for the STB to withdraw pending proposals that are inconsistent with the deregulatory goals outlined in the Staggers Act including regulatory exemptions, forced switching, revenue adequacy, and the limit price test.

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For more information contact: AAR Media Relations at [email protected] or 202-639-2345.

About AAR: The 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.

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