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Rockefeller Makes Call to Reduce Buffett and Others' Shipping Rates!


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Guest ValueCarl

U.S. senator says time to reform freight rail      09/15 10:44 AM

 

 

 

* Rockefeller says railroads overcharge shippers

* Senate report says railroads helped by law on pricing

WASHINGTON, Sept 15 (Reuters) - Freight railroads use market power to overcharge certain shippers and policy must change to ensure fair pricing, a U.S. Senate committee chairman said on Wednesday.

Freight railroads are some of the healthiest companies in the economy, and should no longer benefit from a law enacted years ago to restore their viability, Commerce Committee Chairman John Rockefeller said in a statement accompanying a staff report.

Policy changes could include tougher merger reviews and more active government oversight of the rates freight rail companies charge their customers.

"They enjoy substantial market power yet the current railroad regulatory system regards them as incapable of both making needed capital investments and remaining healthy," the West Virginia Democrat said.

"It's past time to update our rail policies to change a system that allows railroads to grossly overcharge captive shippers and to better meet our nation's future transportation needs," he said.

The committee report said the intent of the 30-year-old Staggers Act to put railroads on sound financial footing has been achieved. The law allowed railroads to negotiate rates as a way to boost revenue.

Rockefeller has led a drive to re-regulate freight rail although legislation has yet to proceed beyond committee approvals.

Railroads in July posted results that topped Wall Street forecasts. Top rail companies include Union Pacific Corp (UNP:$79.27,00$-0.4300,-0.54%) , Burlington Northern Santa Fe, which is owned by Berkshire Hathaway Inc (BRK/A:$125,036.00,00$526.00,000.42%) , CSX Corp (CSX:$55.5587,$0.4387,0.80%) , and Norfolk Southern Corp (NSC:$58.97,00$0.2000,0.34%) . (Reporting by John Crawley. Editing by Robert MacMillan)

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