(Washington, D.C. – June 22, 2011)
Seeking answers to charges that railroads are raising rates and reaping exorbitant profits as a fragile economy attempts to recover from recession, the U.S. Surface Transportation Board conducted hearings Wednesday and Thursday to listen to both customer complaints and railroad defense. A large contingent of shippers, including mining, utility, industrial and agricultural concerns, are seeking relief from fuel surcharges and costs of railroad consolidation that are being passed on to them instead of absorbed by a highly profitable rail industry.
In Wednesday’s first round, Union Pacific CEO Jim Young warned the regulatory body that if new regulations are imposed upon the railroads, the railroads will, in turn, cut jobs and reduce spending on track and equipment upgrade and acquisition.
Tragically many of these companies are cornered into using exclusively the railroads for shipping needs, and the railroads can increase prices without repurcussions.