Consumers United for Rail Equity Announces New Leadership and New Mission

Alexandria, VA –Consumers United for Rail Equity (CURE) today announced its 2015 volunteer leadership and its plans to restructure the coalition of freight rail shippers.

At its recent annual meeting in Arlington VA, the coalition appointed the following officers:

  • President: David Sauer, chief operating officer and senior vice president of Dakota Gasification Company (Dakota Gas), Bismarck ND, a subsidiary of Basin Electric Power Cooperative.
  • Vice President: Steve Jackson, senior vice president and chief operating officer for the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia (MEAG Power), Atlanta GA.
  • Treasurer: Brian Rude, vice president, external and member relations for Dairyland Power Cooperative, La Crosse WI.
  • Secretary: Paul Griffin, Federal Government Relations Advisor at Tri-State Generation & Transmission Association, Inc. of Denver, CO.
  • Immediate Past President, Steve Sharp, Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation (Retired), Little Rock, AR
Coalition members also approved a restructuring plan that will expand CURE beyond its coal utility base into an organization representing a more diverse coalition of freight rail shippers.

“As an executive of an organization that depends on railroads to deliver coal for our utilities and to ship coal, limestone, and chemicals to our customers across the United States and Canada, I am excited to lead CURE as it further broadens its membership base,” said Sauer. “I thank the officers for their service this past year, especially Steve Sharp for his hard work and dedication in helping set the stage for CURE to take a direction.”

In 2014, CURE hired a consultant to review its mission and structure, and to determine whether there was a need for the coalition. The review conducted by Ann Warner LLC of Alexandria, VA, concluded that:

  • There is a continued need for congressional and executive branch education and advocacy on behalf of freight rail shippers.
  • CURE was perceived as being narrowly focused on the transportation needs of coal-burning utilities, even though its members include shippers of chemicals, agricultural, paper and forestry, aggregates, and other products.
As part of the restructuring, CURE will expand its membership to increase participation by freight rail shippers in a host of industries, including agriculture, energy and alternative fuels, chemicals, and aggregates. CURE is developing new governance to reflect its expanded role and will be changing its name to better reflect the diverse membership and mission.


Consumers United for Rail Equity (CURE) is a diverse coalition of freight rail shippers seeking changes in federal law and policy that would provide all shippers with reliable rail service at competitive prices. Founded in 1983 by producers and purchases of bulk commodities, the organization is restructuring and expanding to represent a diverse coalition of rail freight shippers.

Among its priorities in the upcoming 114th Congress, the revamped CURE will push for passage of legislation reauthorizing the Surface Transportation Board similar to S. 2777, the Surface Transportation Board Reauthorization Act of 2014, which unanimously passed the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee in September.

CURE is a coalition representing freight rail shippers that works to educate the public on the impacts to consumers from railroad practices through a growing coalition of industries and associations.