Skip to comments.Key US Senator: Congress Must Bring Down Railroad Rates
Posted on 09/15/2010 2:59:19 PM PDT by Willie Green
WASHINGTON -(Dow Jones)- The U.S. Senate Commerce Committee chairman Wednesday accused freight railroads of increasingly charging excessive rates for the shipment of goods and indicated he would renew a push for legislation to re-regulate the industry.
Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D., W.Va.), frustrated by the industry's lobbying against a bill that would give new powers to regulators to police prices, released a report showing the four major freight railroads registered a nearly 13% profit margin over the past decade. Meanwhile, the companies have increased shipping rates an average of 5% annually, above inflation, since 2004, the report states.
Rockefeller, speaking at a hearing on the matter before his committee, called the report from his staff "shocking" and said it showed a 1980 law to deregulate the industry may have given railroads outsized market powers.
Shippers "are paying more than their fair share to transport their goods to their customers," Rockefeller said, attributing the imbalance to a lack of competition on many freight routes
(Excerpt) Read more at foxbusiness.com ...
Rather than getting involved in the micromanagement of freight rates, Congress must seize this opportunity to introduce true competition in the freight Industry.
To achieve this our National Railway System must be patterned after our Airway, Highway and Waterway systems.
IOW, the freight railways should not be permitted monopolistic ownership of the railway track and rights-of-way. Those should be owned and maintained by the government. Just like our airways, highways and waterways.
The freight railcarriers can own/operate the rolling stock, and compete against each other just like tha airlines compete against each other in our airways, the trucking companies compete against each other on our highways, and boat/barge companies compete against each other on our rivers and canals.
End the private monopolies of our nations railways. They are strangling our nation's progress!!!
The railroads are too health. Let’s screw them up too so we can bail them out.
I’d rather see Congress brought down.
only 13% profits come on now how much had the Rockefeller’s made off their business in the past.
This is just another way to take control of our capitalist system & make another slush fund for government to feed off off. Oh, and of course another reason to raise our taxes since they'll need more money for transportation & infrastructure.
Not to mention the big rise in the cost of diesel fuel over the last ten years as well. He most likely thinks they still use wood to stoke the boilers. Fargin Maroon!
maybe congress can donate thier salaries to lowering cost of everything...
Your comparisons appear flawed:
1. Truckers use the roads that are totally funded by the taxpayers - us.
2. Barges, etc. use channels, navigation aids, CG services that are totally paid by the taxpayers - us.
3. Airlines use airports that are funded by the municipal bondholders, and the taxpayers - us, might receive a potential return on that investment by landing fees, travel fees, etc.
In comparison: Railroads pay for their own infrastructure; maintain their own facilities, pay municipal property taxes to every jurisdiction they travel through, and for every signal light in your town. Railroad workers receive union wages, and have their own retirement system - not Social Security.
The biggest cost of running railroads is the huge capital investment and maintenance of that investment; and increasing price of fuel.
The rolling stock is mainly owned by others looking for tax havens.
Maybe you wish the rail freight industry to be run like the “hugely successful” Amtrak, which is losing money faster than it can print new ticket prices.
It would dramatically lower the cost of almost everything and with that, an explosion in commerce to go along with it.
This is Atlas Shrugs the Movie..Live!
You have postulated some peculiar socialist fantasiies over the years, but nationalizing railroads in the name of conservatism is about as bizarre as it gets.
Dagney Taggert doesn't like your idea. I don't think much of it either.
As a side note: I wonder if the fact that this Dim is from West Virginia and the coal industry is pulling his chain as the coal transportation is crimping their bottom line?
Daily Willie Green Choo-Choo thread.
Promoting 19th Century technology for the 21st Century.
The Railroad Unification Plan is the future. It will avoid cut-throat competition by creating a single pool of profit that will support both high-producing lines and low-producing ones in a fair and equitable manner based on need rather than profit. The director is a fellow named Cuffy Meigs. Name seems familiar...