Agricultural producers concerned about rail rates and service but unable to travel to Washington, D.C., this spring can access all the information they need to voice their opinions from their homes or farms at www.wheatworld.org/railday2010.
The National Association of Wheat Growers is encouraging producers across the country to participate in virtual Rail Day 2010 activities by calling or writing their Members of Congress.
This year’s Rail Day will happen in Washington on Wednesday, with representatives from industries as varied as agriculture to electricity converging to meet with Members and show a united front on efforts to address the needs of captive shippers.
Two NAWG officers will be in town to participate in meetings. NAWG strongly supports passage of currently pending rail legislation including S. 2889, the Surface Transportation Board Reauthorization Act of 2009, which passed out of the Senate Commerce Committee in December 2009 and can move to enactment in 2010.
Key points NAWG and other rail reform advocates will be stressing include:
- Wheat producers rely on an effective railroad system to stay in business. For many, rail shipment is the only cost-effective transportation mode available.
- Producers recognize the need for railroads to attract investment. Producers also need and deserve reasonable rail rates and service, necessitating a strong, reformed Surface Transportation Board (STB) to oversee the sector in a balanced manner.
- The Surface Transportation Board Reauthorization Act of 2009 (S. 2889) represents a balanced compromise that enhances competition and addresses both the needs of the shipping community and the need for railroads to attract needed investment.
- This legislation will bring much-needed balance back to the STB, and create a more level playing field for both railroads and shippers.
Recognizing the window of opportunity to put this issue to rest this year is narrowing, NAWG is urging Members to cosponsor S. 2889 and relay the importance of passage to Senate leadership.