The American Chemistry Council (ACC) has joined a move to urge Congress to pass legislation aimed at increasing rail competition and providing more protection to rail customers, according to ACC information.
"The solution is simple: let the railroads compete for business, like other American companies,” said Marty Durbin, ACC managing director.
Durbin noted that nearly two-thirds of America’s chemical facilities that depend on rail service are served by only one railroad. The “captive customers” are routinely subject to exorbitant prices and poor service because a single railroad has a monopoly on rail service at the sites, he said.
Proposed legislation would improve the existing Surface Transportation Board rate challenge process and eliminate excessive fees for filing rate cases.
Additional legislation, the Railroad Antitrust and Competition Act of 2005, removes the railroad industry’s exemptions from the nation’s antitrust laws. The three bills have broad support from members of both political parties, representing geographically diverse regions of the nation, ACC said.
The ACC has entered the debate along with other industries that use rail transportation, including manufacturers of chemicals, steel, plastics, paper, cement, lumber, and agricultural products.