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3/12/2007



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

STB seeks public comments on proposal to form rail energy transportation advisory committee



The Surface Transportation Board (STB) is considering whether to create a rail energy transportation advisory committee and wants to know what rail and energy industry constituents think about the idea.

The board is accepting public comments until April 16 on a proposal to establish a federal advisory committee that would provide independent advice and policy suggestions to the STB on energy-related rail transportation issues, including those affecting coal and ethanol. Board members are seeking comments on the committee’s appropriate size and scope, and how membership can reflect a balanced cross-section of rail and energy industry stakeholders.

The committee could help foster “open and effective” communication among the industries and federal government on various issues, including rail performance and capacity, infrastructure planning and development, and coordination among suppliers, carriers and energy users, STB members believe.

“The success of our national energy policy, and related job creation and economic growth will increasingly depend on the rail industry's ability to meet energy producers’ growing demand for efficient rail transportation,” STB Chairman Charles Nottingham in a prepared statement. “A new advisory committee would … assist the STB in making well-informed policy decisions and recommendations on these vital matters.”


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