Coalition warns Congress about Railway Safety Act

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The Competitive Enterprise Institute and the Rio Grande Foundation today sent a coalition letter to Congress expressing serious concerns with the Senate’s Railway Safety Act (S. 576).

The most glaring problems with the legislation include:

  • A mandate for two-person crews in perpetuity is overly prescriptive and denies rail companies the flexibility to adjust future operations;
  • A section on movement of hazardous materials avoids essential cost-benefit analysis, like a survey of likely risks generated by regulations that spur railroads and shippers to alter their procedures;
  • Prescriptions on use of trackside detectors that threaten to lock in specific technologies at the expense of innovation and flexibility.

“Railroads are crucial for the efficient running of the nation’s supply chain,” the coalition explains in the letter to Congress. “That makes it all the more important that Congress pursue wise, cost-effective policies that benefit the entire nation, as opposed to ones that primarily aid a few well-placed special interests.”

In addition to the Competitive Enterprise Institute and the Rio Grande Foundation, letter co-signers include representatives from: 60 Plus Association, Advancing American Freedom, American Association of Senior Citizens, Americans for Prosperity, C3 Action, Cardinal Institute for West Virginia Policy, Center for a Free Economy, Center for Individual Freedom, China Tech Threat, Consumer Action for a Strong Economy, Commonwealth Foundation, FreedomWorks, Frontiers of Freedom, Heartland Institute and Heartland Impact, Hoover Institution, Institute for Policy Innovation, Institute for Regulatory Analysis and Engagement, Jack Kemp Foundation, Job Creators Network, The John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy, Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy, Maine Policy Institute, Market Institute, Mississippi Center for Public Policy, National Taxpayers Union, Nevada Policy Research Institute, Pelican Institute for Public Policy, Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, Taxpayers Protection Alliance, Washington Policy Center, Yankee Institute. Individual signers include: Ken Cuccinelli, Benjamin R. Dierker, Steve Forbes, Patrick McLaughlin.