The La Paz County Board of Supervisors adopted a resolution, No. 2021-26, at their Dec. 20 meeting which opposes “onerous regulations” on the nation’s railroads as damaging to the economy, the supply chain situation, and the nation’s attempts to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
The Board’s Chairperson, District 1 Supervisor Duce Minor, said the county needed to speak out because of the important role the Arizona & California Railroad plays in the local economy.
Minor said the county was contacted by GoRail, a railroad advocacy group who warned that some of the proposed regulations in response to the pandemic and supply chain problems would be detrimental to the nation’s railroads.
On their website, gorail.org, GoRail stated heavy government regulation before and into the 1970s led many companies into bankruptcy, created low productivity, and discouraged investment.
The regulations began to be rolled back in the 1970s, culminating in the Staggers Act of 1980. Since then, GoRail said the nation’s freight railroads have become much stronger and more effective and productive transportation systems. They have attracted more investment and have led to the creation of more jobs and a stronger economy.
GoRail said the greater productivity of the railroads can be seen in they now move double the amount of freight moved by a single gallon of diesel fuel in 1980.
GoRail also notes the railroads are more fuel efficient and “greener” in moving large quantities of freight than airplanes or trucks.
The resolution said the Supervisors oppose an environment of onerous regulations on railroads that would hurt the economy and the nation’s supply chain. They urged Arizona’s Congressional delegation to also oppose such regulations. The resolution stated the Supervisors would encourage continued rail investment and policies that would increase the ability to move more freight, decrease pollution, and ease the burden on local roadways.