STB Reauthorization Bill Garners NIT League's Support

The National Industrial Transportation League (NITL), an organization of companies that conduct industrial or commercial shipping throughout the United States and internationally, on Feb. 12 announced its support for S. 2889, the Surface Transportation Board Reauthorization Act of 2009. The association's board of directors endorsed the recommendation of the League's Railroad Transportation Committee, which met last month in Atlanta, Ga.

NITL President Bruce Carlton said, "Chairman Rockefeller asserted effective leadership on this important legislation, and the result is a bipartisan, fair compromise that balances the competitive interests of the nation's railroads and their customers. The NITL wants a strong, healthy rail industry that will move the nation's commerce efficiently in an enhanced competitive environment for rail customers. This is a major step in that direction."

Randy Brown, chairman of the NITL's Railroad Transportation Committee, added, "[O]ur support for S. 2889 also marks the League's determination to be actively engaged in the legislative process which will enhance the ability of shippers to effectively serve their own facilities and customers when rail service is the only practical option."

Among other features, the association noted that the bill puts emphasis on protection of captive shippers; improves shippers' access to competing carriers, trackage, and terminals; and enhances the Surface Tranportation Board's regulatory processes.

The NITL expressly commended not only Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), who introduced the bill in December, but also the legislation's co-sponsors, Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), Byron L. Dorgan (D-N.D.), Frank R. Lautenberg (D-N.J.), and John Thune (R-S.D.), for their leadership in advancing the legislation. It also pledged to continue its efforts to work with Congress and all interested parties to achieve a bill that can be enacted this year.