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Rail News Home Rail Industry Trends

6/13/2023



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

AAR outlines preferred policies aimed at reducing GHG emissions


AAR President and CEO Ian Jefferies
Photo – aar.org

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The Association of American Railroads today published a white paper that outlines railroads' perspective on federal policies that will help the United States reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The paper explains how "smart, pro-innovation federal policies can help advance the rail industry's efforts to effectively combat climate change," AAR officials said in a press release.

"Policymakers must engage in partnership with the private sector to advance pragmatic, solutions-oriented policies that support immediate emissions reductions and encourage longer-term, sustainable solutions," said AAR President and CEO Ian Jefferies. "As the most efficient way to move freight over land, rail is a critical partner in driving further gains."

AAR noted that earlier this year, the Biden administration recognized in its transportation decarbonization blueprint that "rail makes up approximately 28% of U.S. freight movement by ton-miles, but only accounts for about 2% of total U.S. transportation emissions."

Still, the industry is working on even greater sustainability by further reducing emissions, AAR officials said. For example, U.S. freight railroads in 2022 consumed 765 million fewer gallons of fuel and emitted 8.6 million fewer tons of carbon dioxide than they would have if their fuel efficiency had remained constant since 2000.

As the Biden administration works to implement its blueprint, the railroads are calling on policymakers to:

• support low- and zero-emissions locomotive research;

• help railroad partners decarbonize;

• allow railroads to transition locomotive fleets when zero-emission technologies are commercially viable as well as operationally safe and reliable;

• pursue policies that recognize the value of rail as a low-carbon transportation solution;

• empower railroads to make operational decisions that maximize fuel usage and meet growing freight demand;

• further promote a broad-based, economy-wide transition to net zero emissions;

• encourage testing of new safety technologies; and

• embrace permitting reform.

To read the white paper, click here.



Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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