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The Senate yesterday confirmed the appointment of Daniel Elliott III to a second term on the Surface Transportation Board (STB). He again will become chairman, joining Vice Chair Ann Begeman and Commissioner Deb Miller, who has been serving as acting chair since Elliott's departure.The STB has been operating with only two members since Elliott’s previous term — including a holdover period — expired on Dec. 31, 2014. President Obama nominated him for a second term late last year.Elliott was sworn in as the STB's fifth chairman on Aug. 13, 2009. He was nominated to the board for a four-year term expiring Dec. 31, 2013, and his first appointment was confirmed by the Senate on Aug. 7, 2009. Prior to joining the STB, Elliott garnered two decades of experience as an attorney, including 16 years litigating in the transportation field. From 1993 to 2009, he was associate general counsel to the United Transportation Union, where he practiced before the STB. Elliott also practiced before the National Mediation Board and National Labor Relations Board, and worked in private practice in Cleveland and Washington, D.C.Association of American Railroads President and Chief Executive Officer Ed Hamberger congratulated Elliott on his reconfirmation as chairman and expressed a desire to continue a "constructive working relationship" with the board on issues that are vital to the rail industry and overall U.S. economy, Hamberger said in a prepared statement."The STB oversees a balanced regulatory framework that relies on competitive market forces while providing a safety net for those customers who need it. It is a regulatory approach that keeps the nation’s freight railroads competitive with other transportation modes," he said.Consumers United for Rail Equity (CURE) officials also congratulated Elliott on rejoining the board.“While chairman of the STB, Mr. Elliott earned the respect and support of both shippers and railroads for his willingness to listen to all sides of an issue and his extensive outreach," said CURE President David Sauer, in a statement. "During his May 6 confirmation hearing, Mr. Elliott’s responses to various questions raised by the committee members echoed frustrations long shared by shippers, including that the current rate case process was unfair."