City Hall lobbies Congress and the Texas Legislature at various times every year. But it's usually done behind-the-scenes. Not so on the issue of Senate Bill 49, which purports to close anti-trust loopholes in the rail industry and provide federal courts with expanded jurisdiction to hear lawsuits against railroad companies.
Mayor Glen Robertson is asking for the City Council's blessing before sending a letter to Congressman Randy Neugebauer, U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, and U.S. Senator John Cornyn.
The letter says in part, "I would like to take a moment to express my concerns about how devastating the excessive regulations … would be on our successful rail industry in Texas."
He says SB 49, "sets the industry up for triple jeopardy." In other words a rail company might get into legal trouble three times for one mistake.
Lubbock is in the process of developing a rail port north of town. The Mayor's resolution and related correspondence to lawmakers come up on Thursday's City Council agenda.
Those who support the bill say freight railroads are abusing their dominant market power and raising rates.
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