House Passed Farm Bill Includes Mandate for Study of Rail Costs
Posted 07/18/2013

The farm bill passed on July 11, 2013 by the House of Representatives includes a provision that requires Departments of Transportation and Agriculture to produce a report on the cost of shipping goods via freight rail.

If the bill becomes law in its present form — including Sec. 6206 "Study of Rural Transportation Issues" — HR 2642 will require an update of a similar USDA/DOT study mandated by Section 6206 of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (PL 110-246). Reportedly, the study provision was supported by CURE and others who seek repeal of existing partial exemption of railroads from antitrust law, in favor of regulation by the Surface Transportation Board.

If the bill advances, including the study provision, we will consider whether drawing attention of the researchers assigned to the study to our recent and developing experience with a collaborative model for promoting increased competitiveness of rail service would be in order, in lieu of regulatory alternatives.

© 2012 Central Corridors Freight Committee