March 21, 2018
One of the most underappreciated drivers of the modern global economy is the humble shipping container. Widely adopted internationally in the second half of the 20th century, intermodal containers largely supplanted break bulk cargo—the bags, barrels, pallets, and crates that must be individually loaded and unloaded onto ships, railcars, and trucks.
February 12, 2018
This morning, the White House released its long-anticipated, 53-page infrastructure proposal. It is an expansion of the leaked six-page summary that I commented on in late January. The proposal has some elements that will appeal to free market fiscal conservatives. Others, not so much.
January 22, 2018
Three seats currently sit empty on the Surface Transportation Board (STB) and the White House should move quickly to nominate cautious and judicious rail experts to bring the STB closer to full capacity.
September 7, 2017
Today, CEI and two dozen other organizations wrote to the chairs and ranking members of the Senate Commerce Committee and Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety, and Security Subcommittee regarding upcoming confirmations of two members of the Surface...
August 22, 2017
Bike-sharing has become all the rage in cities across America. With the twin goals of increasing “active transportation” and solving mass transit’s chronic first- and last-mile access problems, these cities have also lavished bike-share providers with generous public subsidies with extremely mixed results. New developments in this space may resolve...
August 18, 2017
That is the question I sought to address at a meeting of Utah’s Transportation Governance and Funding Task Force earlier this week. My written testimony is here.
The fuel tax is becoming an increasingly unstable source of dedicated user revenue. Even when the...
March 7, 2017
Yesterday, the Cato Institute’s Randal O’Toole was kind enough to invite me to participate in a panel discussion on transportation infrastructure...
December 29, 2016
This past summer, the Surface Transportation Board (STB), an independent federal regulatory agency charged with resolving rate disputes in the freight rail industry, proposed a dramatic change to the rules governing forced reciprocal switching. Reciprocal switching refers to an industry practice whereby an incumbent railroad allows a competing railroad to access its tracks for a fee, so that even if the competing railroad cannot physically access the customer in question using its own network, it is able provide single-line service just like the incumbent railroad. See this diagram below for a helpful visual:...
December 19, 2016
In this episode of RealClear Radio Hour, Brian Hodges discusses West Hollywood’s extortion of local developers and Robert Kanigel shares stories of Great American Cities heroine Jane Jacobs.
Opening the show this week is Brian Hodges, Principal Attorney at the Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF). Brian tells the story of how his organization, the first public interest group to defend property rights and challenge government overreach, has helped change the American legal landscape. As an example, he details a current case in which PLF is defending an entrepreneurial couple from an unconstitutional attempt by the City of West Hollywood, California to extort a half-million dollar “affordable housing” permitting fee on their new condominium development.
October 27, 2016
Today, a coalition of free market groups led by CEI sent letters to Senate Commerce Committee and House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee leaders urging them to defend railroad deregulation against the attempts of the Surface Transportation Board (STB) to impose forced reciprocal switching on U.S. rail carriers.
Reciprocal switching refers to an arrangement whereby two railroads interchange on another’s traffic for a fee. This occurs voluntarily across the country. But the STB is now seeking to make it easier to force railroads into these arrangements by eliminating the decades-old anticompetitive conduct requirement, which requires that shippers...