FRCA Issue Priorities for the 115th Congress

In January, the Freight Rail Customer Alliance (FRCA) Board of Directors approved its issue priorities for the 115th Congress.

FRCA supports the following legislative issues and proceedings before the Surface Transportation Board (STB or Board).


Legislative Issues

  • Surface Transportation Board (STB) Reauthorization Act of 2015, P.L. 114-110
    Congressional Oversight & Implementation
    Continued STB implementation and Congressional oversight of the first authorization for the STB since 1998, which includes basic reforms and process enhancements for the Board.
    FRCA’s Position Paper can be accessed here.
  • Rail Shipper Fairness Act of 2017
    [Soon to be Introduced.]      
  • Annual Appropriation Levels for the Surface Transportation Board
    Highest annual appropriations level possible for the STB, at a minimum $37 million of which $2.046 million directed to IT upgrades, in the pending FY 2017 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriation bills.  These measures from the 114th Congress are:
    • R. 5394, H. Rpt. 114-606, approved by the House Appropriations Committee on May 24, 2016.
    • R. 2577 (S. 2844, S. Rpt. 114-43), as approved by the U.S. Senate on May 19, 2016.
    For FY 2018, FRCA supports, the highest appropriation level possible for the STB.

    View FRCA’s position paper and side-by-side.
  • Emergency Fuel Supply Coordination
    Legislation that would establish efforts to prevent disruptions, uncertainties and delays in commodities – such as fuel, grains, and chemicals – reaching the market.

    FRCA’s position paper can be accessed here. 


Proceedings before the Surface Transportation Board

  • Revenue Adequacy Considerations Before the STB
    STB efforts in Docket No. EP 722, Railroad Revenue Adequacy, exploring its methods in determining railroad revenue adequacy.  As a part of this review, FRCA strongly opposes the use of replacement cost methodologies.

    FRCA’s position paper can be accessed here.
  • Rate-Reasonableness Standards and Expediting Rate Cases Before the STB
    Actions to review the Board’s three tests when used to determine railroad revenue adequacy in EP Docket No. 733, Expediting Rate Cases.

    FRCA’s position paper can be accessed here
  • Commodity Exemption Review Before the STB
    The Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in Docket No. EP 704 (Sub-No. 1) that would allow certain commodities to seek rate and/or service relief before the Board.

    FRCA’s position paper can be accessed here.  
  • Competitive Switching (Access)
    The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to determine the pros and cons of requiring railroads to provide requested switching arrangements in Docket No. EP 711 (Sub No. – 1).

    FRCA’s position paper can be accessed here.


Supporting Published Reports

“Modernizing Freight Rail Regulation,” Transportation Research Board/National Academy of Sciences.  June 2015.
FRCA’s position paper can be accessed here.

“Freight Rail Pricing: Contracts Provide Shippers and Railroads Flexibility, but High Rates Concern Some Shippers”, General Accountability Office.  December 2016.
FRCA’s position paper can be accessed here

Quadrennial Energy Review, U.S. Department of Energy.  April 2015.
FRCA’s position paper can be accessed here.