FRCA Congressional Priorities for 2016
The Freight Rail Customer Alliance (FRCA) supports the following legislation and/or issues:
- Surface Transportation Board Reauthorization Act of 2015 Implementation
S. 808 (S. Rpt. 114-52), P.L. 114-110
Provides the first authorization for the Surface Transportation Board since 1998 and establishes basic reforms and process enhancements for the Board.
[See related story on FRCA Supports Progressive STB Reauthorization Act Implementation.]
- Annual Appropriation Levels for the Surface Transportation Board
H.R. 2577 (S. 2844, S. Rpt. 114-243) & H.R. 5394, H. Rpt. 114-606
FRCA supports the highest annual appropriations level possible for the STB to allow the Board to modernize its information technology systems; improve data collection; and provide sufficient staff to help ensure the Board can efficiently meet its current, mandated responsibilities, and enhanced duties pursuant to P.L. 114-110.
[See related story on FRCA Advocates for STB Appropriated Funding.]
- Severe Fuel Supply Emergency Response Act of 2015, S. 1405
Would address fuel supply deficiencies by outlining a coordinated federal response once a fuel report disruption has been reported to the U.S. Department of Energy.
During the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee mark-up of The Energy Policy Modernization Act, S. 2012, on July 30, 2015, Sen. Al Franken, D-MN offered a similar version of S. 1405 as an amendment to this measure. Known as the “Franken Coal Amendment” (as modified), which FRCA actively supported, it failed by 13 – 9 vote during the Committee mark-up. S. 2012 (S. Rpt. 114-138) is pending Senate floor action.
In related action, Senate Democrats unveiled their own Energy Bill on September 21, 2015, which included Sen. Franken’s “coal emergency” language (Section 1041: Severe coal supply emergency response.)
On the Senate side, there is no companion provision in the North American Energy Security and Infrastructure Act, H.R. 8, (H. Rpt. 114-347 Part I), which passed the U.S. House of Representatives on December 3, 2015.
- Railroad Antitrust Enforcement Act of 2015, S. 1634
Introduced by Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-MN, this legislation would remove a 91-year-old special freight railroad antitrust exemption. The bill has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee. There is no companion bill in the House.
- Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2015 Implementation, P.L. 114-73
Extends the deadline for positive train control implementation to December 2018.