FRCA Newsletter

April 2017

Changes and New Faces in 115th Congress

The new 115th Congress got underway in January and was promptly faced with the challenges of a new Administration. The U.S. Senate began the process of confirming President Trump’s Cabinet, with U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao among the first to be approved.  Once the Senate approves the President’s cabinet, it will move on […] Read More »

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 […] Read More »

President Trump Names Ann Begeman as Acting STB Chairman

On January 25, President Donald J. Trump designated Ann Begeman to serve as Acting Chairman of the Surface Transportation Board (STB or Board). Acting Chairman Begeman is currently serving a second, five-year term as a Member of the Board following her recent nomination by President Barack Obama on December 7, 2016, and her subsequent unanimous […] Read More »

The Impact and Potential Impact of Executive Orders and White House Memos on the STB and Other Independent Regulatory Agencies

Since taking office in January, President Trump has been actively using his executive powers to direct the course of government activity.  Of note are: On Inauguration Day, January 20, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus issued a Memorandum directing agencies to delay any new regulations by sixty days to permit further review. This Memorandum […] Read More »

October 2016

Freight Rail Customer Alliance Responds to Association of American Railroads

In an ongoing series of paid content articles, guest editorials, and “third party submissions” in traditional and digital media outlets around the country, along with lobbying efforts on Capitol Hill, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) warns that pending regulatory action could hurt the nation’s economy.The freight railroad lobby is targeting pending Surface Transportation Board […] Read More »

FRCA Testifies before U.S. Senate Commerce Committee on STB Reauthorization Act Implementation

The Senate Commerce, Science, and Technology (SCOM) Committee held a field hearing on implementation of the Surface Transportation Board (STB) Reauthorization Act of 2015 (Act) on August 11 in Sioux Falls, SD.Convened by Committee Chairman, Senator John Thune (R-SD), the hearing provided an opportunity for shippers, including Freight Rail Customer Alliance (FRCA) Board member Thomas […] Read More »

NEW FRCA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

Please welcome the Western Fuels Association to the Freight Rail Customer Alliance! Western Fuels Association (WFA) is a not-for profit cooperative that supplies coal and transportation services to consumer-owned electric utilities throughout the Great Plains, Rocky Mountains and Southwest regions of the United States.  Serving a wide variety of public power entities ranging from rural electric […] Read More »

STB Releases Report on Rate Case Methodologies Conclusions Reached of Concern to FRCA

On September 22nd, the Surface Transportation Board (STB or Board) issued the long-awaited final report examining rate case methodologies, An Examination of the STB’s Approach to Freight Rail Rate Regulation and Options for Simplification (Report). The study was commissioned by STB Chairman Daniel R. Elliott to provide an independent assessment of the Board’s stand-alone cost […] Read More »

FRCA Participation in STB Proceedings

The Freight Rail Customer Alliance (FRCA) continues to advocate on behalf of its members, and particularly freight-rail dependent shippers, before the Surface Transportation Board (STB or Board). The STB is moving forward on numerous proceedings, due in large part to the implementation of the STB Reauthorization Act of 2015 (P.L. 114-110). The proceedings are providing […] Read More »

Election 2016 Outlook for Freight Rail Issues

The 2016 Elections could bring some significant changes to congressional committees with jurisdiction over freight rail shipper issues, no matter which party wins the White House.The next President will have the opportunity to nominate as many as three members of the Surface Transportation Board in 2017.  Current Board Member Ann Begeman’s one-year holdover period expires […] Read More »

June 2016

Recent Merger Attempt Illustrates Need for Railroad Antitrust Reform

Recent efforts by Canadian Pacific Railway Limited (CP) to acquire Norfolk Southern Corporation (NS), and previously CSX Corporation, illustrate the need to enhance Federal oversight of proposed railroad mergers and make the railroads subject to the antitrust laws generally. The Issue“With history as our guide, further industry consolidation more than likely would lead to even less […] Read More »

FRCA Back-Story: Organization’s Roots Dates Back Three Decades

The Freight Rail Customer Alliance (FRCA), launched in Washington DC in September 2015, traces its roots back to the early 1980s following the passage of the Staggers Rail Act of 1980, which deregulated the nation’s freight railroads.In 1984, associations representing coal-burning utilities created Consumers United for Rail Equity (CURE) to advocate for affordable and reliable […] Read More »

FRCA Regulatory Priorities for 2016

The Freight Rail Customer Alliance (FRCA) is a participant and/or interested in these proceedings before the Surface Transportation Board (STB):Docket No. FD 36004, Canadian Pacific Railway Limited – Petition for Expedited Declaratory Order (March 23, 2016)Docket No. EP 704 (Sub-No. 1), Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, Review of Commodity, Boxcar, and TOFC/COFC Exemptions (Initial Comments due July […] Read More »

FRCA Advocates for STB Appropriated Funding

With the December 2015 passage of the Surface Transportation Board (STB) Reauthorization Act of 2015 (P.L. 114-110), FRCA’s legislative focus in 2016 is on working to obtain the maximum possible funding for the STB to modernize its information technology systems; improve data collection; and provide sufficient staff to help ensure the Board can efficiently meet […] Read More »

FRCA Supports Progressive STB Reauthorization Act Implementation

FRCA continues to work with the Surface Transportation Board (STB), the U.S. Congress, and aligned freight rail shippers in helping to implement the STB Reauthorization Act of 2015, P.L. 114-110. In particular, FRCA is pleased with how key elements of the Act are fostering greater transparency in how the STB operates, including enhancing communications within […] Read More »

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 […] Read More »