October 23, 2014

Shipper protection bills back in Senate

Senators Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) and Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) have reintroduced legislation this Congress that would lasso railroad pricing power.

S. 49, introduced by Kohl, would repeal some of the railroads’ antitrust exemptions.

S. 158, introduced by Rockefeller and co-sponsored by Republican Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas, would increase the size of the U.S. Surface Transportation Board (which regulates railroad rates, service, mergers, and abandonments) and require the agency to be more sensitive to captive rail shipper complaints.

Similar bills failed even to reach the Senate floor during the previous Congress.