Surface Transportation Board Takes ‘Bye’ on Fuel Surcharge Case

By Frank N. Wilner, Capitol Hill Contributing Editor, Railway Age Magazine; September 3, 2019

Imagine Surface Transportation Board (STB) members Ann D. Begeman, Patrick J. Fuchs and Martin J. Oberman dining family-style, where one entree is shared. Ann wants fish, Marty chicken, and Patrick says he wants neither and wishes to leave. Unable to agree on an order, the three depart the restaurant.

So it is that the three did just that—not at a meal, but with a regulatory decision of high-dollar consequence. Unable to agree on establishing new standards allowing railroads to avoid regulatory reprimand when assessing locomotive fuel surcharges, they terminated the rulemaking—Ex Parte No. 661, (Sub.-No. 2), Rail Fuel Surcharge (Safe Harbor)—thus preserving a status quo upsetting to shippers:

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