CEI Replies to Consumers United for Rail Equity Before the Surface Transportation Board


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On behalf of the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), a non-profit public policy organization that specializes in regulatory issues, I respectfully submit this letter in reply to the initial April 12, 2011, comments of Consumers United for Rail Equity (CURE) in the matter of Competition in the Railroad Industry.  

This comment letter develops the following points:

  1. CURE ignores 49 U.S.C. § 10101(6) and fails to show that current “rail rates provide revenues which exceed the amount necessary to maintain the rail system and to attract capital.”
  2. CURE’s case for forced access does not consider the economic literature on the peculiarities of network industries and the dangers of overregulation.
  3. CURE and the firms it represents have long engaged in a pattern of rent-seeking behavior in which they have heavily criticized adequate rate-setting in the railroad industry.