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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

AAR asks STB to use cost-benefit analysis in rulemaking

AAR President and CEO Ian Jefferies
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The Association of American Railroads (AAR) yesterday petitioned the Surface Transportation Board (STB) to incorporate cost-benefit analysis into rulemaking proceedings.

The association urged that such analysis should include the "most current and reliable data possible," and that the board should consider the cumulative impact of regulations when proposing and adopting new rules, AAR officials said in a press release.

Current administrative law does not require the STB and other independent agencies to do a cost-benefit analysis, which the AAR's petition acknowledges.

However, the association argues that the STB "would have access to better information and could have substantially greater confidence in critical rulemaking decisions if cost-benefit analyses were performed," AAR officials said.

They also noted that the board now has two members who, along with Chair Ann Begeman, are interested in agency reforms.

Incorporating a cost-benefit analysis would support the board's goals, which include facilitating a "fluid and reliable rail network," said AAR President and Chief Executive Officer Ian Jefferies.

"By adopting the process improvements sought in our petition, we believe the STB would be better positioned to meet its statutory mandate and bring its practices more in line with the spirit of past executive orders, which the board has largely acknowledged to date," he added.