Below is the full editorial by Philip Bell which was run in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette and can be found on the Post’s website:
“America’s industrial greatness was forged by two industries more than any other: steel and railroads. Together they built our nation, one by providing the raw material and the other by hauling it where it needed to go.
Like Pittsburgh, our industry has gone through many changes over the years — some of them hard-fought. For us, competition has helped make U.S. steel producers stronger than ever.
We believe that the increased competition would also benefit other industries that support our operations. That includes the rail carriers that are so critical to moving raw materials and finished goods.
That’s why we have joined the Rail Customer Coalition to get Washington to act on regulatory reforms that would help create a more competitive freight rail network.
The Surface Transportation Board, tasked by Congress to address freight rail issues, has finally begun to work on sensible reforms to remove regulatory barriers to competition and cut red tape at the agency.
Under one of the board’s proposals, for example, steel manufacturers and other rail customers will for the first time have an effective means to seek competitive bids for service from other railroads through reciprocal or competitive switching.
American manufacturers need the STB to operate at full strength and with a deep commitment to enacting reform policies that will light a fire under our economy.
For that to happen, we need President Donald Trump and Congress to act quickly to fill the vacancies at the STB with members who will advance long-overdue regulatory reforms.”
PHILIP K. BELL