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Two trade associations representing rail shippers issued statements earlier this week in response to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation's vote to confirm the nomination of Daniel Elliott III to a second term on the Surface Transportation Board (STB).Consumers United for Rail Equity (CURE) and the American Chemistry Council (ACC) both urged the Senate to confirm Elliott's nomination and pursue STB reform legislation that would address shippers' concerns over freight-rail shipping rates and service. "ACC has joined with a large collection of trade associations representing a broad cross section of manufacturing, agricultural, and energy industries to urge Congress and the STB to enact reforms that will allow the board to operate more efficiently and effectively," ACC officials said in a statement."The STB is a three-member board, meaning that when there is a vacancy, a unanimous vote is needed to resource any pending matter. Given that most of the rate cases before the board are litigated over a number of years, it is important that we do not face any unnecessary delays especially those caused by a board member vacancy," said CURE President David Sauer, who is chief operating officer and senior vice president of Dakota Gasification Co.
During his previous tenure as STB chairman, Elliott earned the respect and support of both shippers and railroads for his willingness to consider all sides of an issue and his extensive outreach, Sauer added.