Opponents Slam Government Approval of $31 Billion Railroad Merger

Amid current rail disasters, critics warn the transfer will value jobs, threaten security, scale back competitors and lift costs.

U.S. federal regulators on Wednesday authorised the primary main railroad merger in additional than 20 years, a transfer that follows the East Palestine rail catastrophe and that critics warned would cut back competitors, elevate costs, value jobs, and threaten security.

The Floor Transportation Board (STB) approved Canadian Pacific Railway Restricted’s proposed $31 billion acquisition of Kansas Metropolis Southern Railway Firm, a merger that can create a single railroad linking Canada, the USA, and Mexico. The company stated the merger will take roughly 64,000 truckloads off the highway and add greater than 800 union jobs.

“The choice consists of an unprecedented seven-year oversight interval and incorporates many situations designed to mitigate environmental impacts, protect competitors, shield railroad staff, and promote environment friendly passenger rail,” STB stated, including that it “additionally anticipates the merger will end in enhancements in security and the discount of carbon emissions.”

Nonetheless, opponents of the deal pointed to the East Palestine, Ohio disaster and other recent railroad accidents, which they stated underscored the necessity for a extra cautious method to consolidation.

“The merger brings the whole variety of Class 1 railroads to 6, down from over 100 just some many years in the past,” the progressive information web site Extra Excellent Union noted on Twitter. “Company consolidation within the railroad trade compromises security and dangers lives by prioritizing earnings and reducing corners to cut back prices.”

“Regardless of issues from small cities and suburban Chicago cities, the STB dominated, primarily based on knowledge offered by trade, that the one group and environmental impacts of the merger can be a rise in noise,” Extra Excellent Union continued.

“The Biden administration has taken a powerful antitrust stance by blocking the $3.8 billion JetBlue-Spirit merger and urging the STB to do the identical for Canadian Pacific-Kansas Metropolis Southern (CP-KCS), citing the necessity to promote competitors within the railroad trade,” the outlet stated.

“Disgrace on STB for disregarding each the administration and the rail staff who know all too nicely that company consolidation results in a extra harmful rail trade,” Extra Excellent Union added. “The very last thing we’d like is one other merger proper now.”

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) — who earlier this month wrote to STB Chair Martin Oberman asking the company to reject the merger — equally tweeted that “we don’t want one other rail merger that’ll crush competitors, scale back security, improve costs, and destroy jobs.”

U.S. Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Unwell.), who represents some Chicago suburbs via which the brand new worldwide railway will run, wrote on Twitter Tuesday that “even before the disaster in Ohio, I had been warning about the threats to communities in my district that would come from a potential CP-KCS merger.”

Itasca, Illinois Administrator Carie Anne Ergo — who chairs the Stop CPKCS Coalition — told The Washington Post that “the tragedy in Ohio is an illustration of what we’ve been speaking about can occur.”

“If what occurred in East Palestine occurred right here in Itasca, your complete group would want to evacuate,” she added. “It’s terrifying.”

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