The National Industrial Transportation League joined with other freight rail customers today in thanking the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee for voting to approve the nominations of Patrick Fuchs and Michelle Schultz to fill open seats on the Surface Transportation Board.
In a letter to Sen. John Thune, the committee’s chairman, and Sen. Bill Nelson, the committee’s ranking member, the League applauded the committee for taking this important and long overdue action. Of the STB’s five seats, only two are currently filled, leaving the Board unable to address ongoing freight rail issues as well as larger matters such as improving access to competitive freight rail service.
“A fully staffed Surface Transportation Board is vital to the fair and efficient functioning of the U.S. freight rail system and the health of America’s economy,” stated NITL Executive Director Jennifer Hedrick. “The members of the National Industrial Transportation League thank the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, and especially Chairman Thune and Ranking Member Nelson, for their timely approval of Patrick Fuchs and Michelle Schultz to serve on the STB, and we look forward to working with the Board to increase access to competitive freight rail service for all shippers.”
The letter was sent under the auspices of the Rail Customer Coalition, a group of associations representing manufacturing, farming, and other sectors of the economy. RCC members (including NITL) are major users of freight rail, accounting for more than half of the total volume of cargo shipped by rail and generating more than three quarters of the revenues collected by the railroads.