Stakeholder Views on Surface Transportation Board Reauthorization
2167 Rayburn House Office Building and online via videoconferencing
This is a hearing of the Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials.
Opening remarks, as prepared, of Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials Subcommittee Ranking Member Rick Crawford (R-AR):
Thank you, Chair Payne, for holding this hearing, and thank you to our witnesses for participating.
Today’s hearing will examine stakeholder perspectives on the Surface Transportation Board’s role in regulating the freight railroad industry, and thoughts on the STB’s reauthorization.
The STB is an independent agency that generally ensures that freight railroads operate in an efficient and economically competitive manner that serves the interests of freight carriers, shippers and other interested parties.
This year, the STB is busier than ever as it reviews an important reciprocal switching rule, a merger between two Class One freight railroads, and potential expansion of Amtrak service.
The STB must always weigh any consideration of further industry regulations with the deregulatory spirit of the Staggers Act, which opened the freight industry to increased competition, lower rates, and efficiencies that benefit all interested parties.
The STB was last authorized in 2015 through Fiscal Year 2020. It has subsequently received funding through continuing resolutions.
I commend the Chair for holding this hearing today and look forward to hearing from our witnesses.