CURE Hails Senate Commerce Vote on Confirmation of Elliott to STB

For Immediate Release:
May 20, 2015

Ann Warner 202-465-8716

CURE Hails Senate Commerce Vote on Confirmation of Elliott to STB

WASHINGTON, DC — Today’s voice vote by the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee to confirm Daniel R. Elliott III to serve a second term on the Surface Transportation Board (STB) is a key step to bringing the Board up to full strength, according to Consumers United For Rail Equity (CURE), a rail shipper advocacy group.

The Board has been operating with only two members since Mr. Elliott’s previous term on the STB, including his holdover period, expired December 31, 2014. President Obama nominated Mr. Elliott for a second term on January 13.

“Today’s unanimous vote by the Senate Committee to confirm Mr. Elliott comes at a crucial time for rail shippers,” said David Sauer, president of CURE and chief operating officer and senior vice president of Dakota Gasification Company (Dakota Gas), Bismarck ND, a subsidiary of Basin Electric Power Cooperative.

The STB is holding two hearings this summer that are of vital importance to the nation’s freight shippers, Sauer explained. On June 10, the Board is holding a hearing on the issue of making its rate case process more accessible to grain shippers. On July 22-23, the Board is holding a hearing on revenue adequacy, which will explore how it should regulate rail carriers that are revenue adequate.

“During his May 6 confirmation hearing, Mr. Elliott’s responses to various questions raised by the Committee Members echoed frustrations long shared by shippers including that the current rate case process was unfair,” said Sauer.

“The Commerce Committee, under the leadership of Chairman John Thune (R-SD), and Ranking Member Bill Nelson (D-FL), are to be commended for their continued interested in rail shipper issues,” Sauer said.

“CURE encourages the full Senate to confirm Mr. Elliott at the earliest possible opportunity.”

The mission of CURE, and its successor organization, is to obtain changes in Federal law and policy that will provide all freight shippers with reliable rail service at competitive prices.