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Key US Senator: Congress Must Bring Down Railroad Rates
FOXBusiness ^ | Wednesday, September 15, 2010 | Josh Mitchell

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 ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Government
KEYWORDS: competition; transportation
The unintended consequnce of the Staggers Rail and Motor Carrier Acts of 1980 is that the nation's freight carriers have been permitted to merge, consolidate and shed rail capacity to the point that shippers no longer have any competitive choice as to which freight line ships their product.

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!!!

1 posted on 09/15/2010 2:59:24 PM PDT by Willie Green
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To: Willie Green

The railroads are too health. Let’s screw them up too so we can bail them out.


2 posted on 09/15/2010 3:01:21 PM PDT by DManA
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To: Willie Green

I’d rather see Congress brought down.


3 posted on 09/15/2010 3:01:33 PM PDT by WOBBLY BOB (drain the swamp! ( then napalm it and pave it over ))
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To: Willie Green

only 13% profits come on now how much had the Rockefeller’s made off their business in the past.


4 posted on 09/15/2010 3:02:56 PM PDT by guitarplayer1953 (Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to GOD! Thomas Jefferson)
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To: Willie Green
WOW, 13% profit over a decade? How dare they? Does that even keep up with the cost of inflation? Of course not!

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.

5 posted on 09/15/2010 3:05:02 PM PDT by patlin (Ignorance is Bliss for those who choose to wear rose colored glasses)
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To: Willie Green
"Key US Senator: Congress Must Bring Down Railroad Rates"

Chicken Littles

6 posted on 09/15/2010 3:05:29 PM PDT by musicman (Until I see the REAL Long Form Vault BC, he's just "PRES__ENT" Obama = Without "ID")
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To: guitarplayer1953

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!


7 posted on 09/15/2010 3:13:19 PM PDT by mazda77 (Rubio - US Senate, West FL22nd, Scott/Carroll - FL Gov/LtGov, Miller-AK US Senate)
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To: Willie Green

maybe congress can donate thier salaries to lowering cost of everything...


8 posted on 09/15/2010 3:21:23 PM PDT by dalebert
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To: Willie Green
Make the railroads free like health care.
9 posted on 09/15/2010 3:21:40 PM PDT by kbennkc (For those who have fought for it freedom has a flavor the protected will never know .F Trp 8th Cav)
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To: Willie Green

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.


10 posted on 09/15/2010 3:22:15 PM PDT by Noob1999
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To: DManA
End the private monopolies of our nations railways.

Marxism needs a new slogan.
11 posted on 09/15/2010 3:25:28 PM PDT by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin! (look it up))
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To: mazda77
I would be in full favor of no taxes for over the road diesel fuel just like off road farmers diesel if that would lower the cost of food.
12 posted on 09/15/2010 3:27:36 PM PDT by guitarplayer1953 (Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to GOD! Thomas Jefferson)
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To: guitarplayer1953

It would dramatically lower the cost of almost everything and with that, an explosion in commerce to go along with it.


13 posted on 09/15/2010 3:33:57 PM PDT by mazda77 (Rubio - US Senate, West FL22nd, Scott/Carroll - FL Gov/LtGov, Miller-AK US Senate)
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To: DManA
When I saw the headline, I knew it had to be a democrat...wanting the government to control everything.

The free economy is like water - it seeks it own level. Those who don't perform are history, i.e. "Studebaker", New coke, and "betamax".

If the train rates get too high, people will stop shipping by rail; it's called the free market, but people actually have to get up off their dead arses and do something to make it work.

The lazy rabble we call "democrats" seek the "nannystate" for that one, main reason. Laziness.

obama walks dog


14 posted on 09/15/2010 3:35:52 PM PDT by FrankR (Standing up to TYRANTS is the only thing that will stop the onslaught of TYRANNY.)
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To: DManA

This is Atlas Shrugs the Movie..Live!


15 posted on 09/15/2010 3:36:00 PM PDT by screaminsunshine (counter revolutionary)
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To: Willie Green
Golly willie, maybe railroads would then be as profitable as the airlines or as well maintained as highways.

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.

16 posted on 09/15/2010 3:38:09 PM PDT by Mr. Lucky
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To: Willie Green
I don't think nationalizing the railroads will find much support. For if you nationalize the privately owned rails, you make the rolling stock next to worthless as now the government will decide who can use the lines and when.

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?

17 posted on 09/15/2010 4:05:07 PM PDT by IrishCatholic (No local Communist or Socialist Party Chapter? Join the Democrats, it's the same thing!)
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To: Willie Green
DEMOCRATS - MAKING LIFE MORE AFFORDABLE

  1. AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE
    (Obama: We knew health costs would go up)

  2. AFFORDABLE HYBRID CARS
    (GM VOLT - Prices starting at only $41,000.00)

  3. AFFORDABLE RAILROAD SHIPPING RATES
    (Bad RR companies are actually making a profit!)

.
18 posted on 09/15/2010 4:08:18 PM PDT by Iron Munro (Obama demands proof we have medical insurance but he can't prove he is a citizen.)
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To: Willie Green
This is today's

Daily Willie Green Choo-Choo thread.

Promoting 19th Century technology for the 21st Century.

19 posted on 09/15/2010 4:09:24 PM PDT by Petruchio (I Think . . . Therefor I FReep.)
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To: Willie Green

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...


20 posted on 09/15/2010 4:23:36 PM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: guitarplayer1953

Coca-Cola Company ... Return on Equity, 29.1. Operating Margin, 31.9. ProfitMargin, 23.4% ..


21 posted on 09/15/2010 4:24:09 PM PDT by DUMBGRUNT (The best is the enemy of the good!)
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To: screaminsunshine

Thank you. I was wondering if I was the only one...


22 posted on 09/15/2010 5:25:17 PM PDT by jonno (Having an opinion is not the same as having the answer...)
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To: Willie Green

Jay boy, Warren Buffet (aka railroad guy) is one of Baraq’s best supporters.

Surely you aren’t after his profits?


23 posted on 09/15/2010 5:27:40 PM PDT by nascarnation
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Taggart Transcontinental?

Mark


24 posted on 09/15/2010 6:53:33 PM PDT by MarkL (Do I really look like a guy with a plan?)
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