U.S. Senator John Thune (R-South Dakota), Ranking Member of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, made the following statement today regarding the Surface Transportation Board’s (STB) new data reporting requirements:
“I welcome the additional transparency the STB is seeking from the nation’s largest freight railroads as service delays continue to cause challenges for agriculture producers and other shippers across the country.
“The reporting requirements that the board instituted earlier this year for grain shippers in South Dakota and other states have helped to refocus efforts to address shipper delays – understanding that various industries have particular shipping needs that can be cyclical. While the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee and the STB continue efforts to address the short and long-term challenges that face shippers and freight railroads regarding high shipping demand and backlogs, there are no magic solutions. That said, the additional information sought by the board should help to ensure that railroads, shippers, and Congress all work from the same facts toward possible solutions.”
Click here for more information on the new STB transparency reporting requirements.Thune is the Ranking Member of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, which has jurisdiction over freight railroads and the STB. Just last month, the Commerce Committee held a hearing on the rail service challenges facing shippers across the country, including agriculture producers in South Dakota as they prepare for a record harvest. In addition, on September 17, 2014, the Commerce Committee passed the bipartisan STB reform bill that Senator Thune and Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-West Virginia) introduced that would streamline the board’s ability to work together and address rate disputes and service complaints. For a complete outline of Thune’s work to reduce the rail service backlog, visit his website.