December 1, 2015

Powder river basin coal demand down


Nine years ago, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Company embarked on a campaign to improve its freight service in and out of the coal-rich Powder River Basin of Montana and Wyoming. Times were good, the coal industry was booming and BNSF was getting political pressure to beef up its Powder River Basin infrastructure to help [...]

Low on coal, utilities ask regulators to prod rails


WASHINGTON – Ongoing rail service problems have left power plants from Minnesota to Texas low on coal as an early blast of winter weather hit the nation’s midsection this week. Some fear the stage has been set for a repeat of last winter, when heavy snowfall and subzero temperatures crippled rail operations in the Upper [...]

Wash. SLD Krohn appears on PBS coal show


SMART Transportation Division Washington State Legislative Director Herb Krohn Nov. 7 appeared on Northwest Now, a Public Broadcasting System program that airs in Washington on Television Station KBTC. Northwest Now is an Emmy®-award winning weekly public affairs show that goes beyond the headlines to provide perspective on the issues that have western Washington talking. In this episode, [...]

BNSF to invest $235M in Washington state

BNSF Railroad will invest $235 million in its system in Washington state this year, nearly double the amount invested in 2013. This suggests that the company is continuing to upgrade a system that supported $28.5 billion in state economic activity, according to a study released Monday. Read the complete story at Puget Sound Business Journal.

Va. SLD: U.S. coal and global warming


Pat Corp, Virginia State Legislative Director of the SMART Transportation Division, submitted the following letter to the editor of The Roanoke Times. It was published Aug. 22, 2014. Re: the July 28 article “Coal exports bypass emission rules” from the Associated Press. The article’s leanings struck me as somewhat less than pure investigative reporting. U.S. [...]

Rails post highest weekly coal carloads of year


U.S. railroads hauled the highest number of carloads so far this year in the week that ended Saturday (Aug. 2), partly driven by low stockpiles at US utilities and pressure from producers to move more coal. The Association of American Railroads said Thursday (Aug. 7) that weekly coal carloads originated on all U.S. railroads totaled 116,881, [...]

Ga. SLD Campbell testifies at EPA carbon hearing


SMART Transportation Division Georgia State Legislative Director Matt Campbell testified before the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency July 29 in Atlanta, addressing the concerns of the union and its members regarding the agency’s proposed Clean Power Plan. In its proposed rule, the EPA is proposing state-specific rate-based goals for carbon dioxide emissions from the power sector, [...]

CSX hopes to expand profit despite coal slowdown


OMAHA, Neb. – CSX Corp. remains optimistic the railroad’s profits will improve over the next two years even though coal demand has remained stubbornly weak. Officials at the Jacksonville, Fla.-based railroad said Wednesday that shipments of intermodal containers and merchandise will continue to be a larger part of their business. Read the complete story at [...]

UTU testimony earns coal project support

National and state labor unions are supporting a coal export project in Washington, calling it a chance for an economic boon to an area in financial distress. State AFL-CIO leaders testified earlier this week in front of a committee of the King County Council that not only had the state chapter came out in support [...]

Coal vital to America’s energy future


By James Stem, UTU National Legislative Director -  Coal is America’s most abundant source of energy, helping reduce our nation’s dependence on imported oil. Coal also means jobs, with almost one in every five freight rail jobs dependent on transporting coal. And coal means high-paying jobs for coal miners, power plant workers and the building trades, [...]