Wyoming senators: Surface Transportation Board chairman should add coal industry representation

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GILLETTE, Wyo. — Wyoming’s U.S. senators asked Surface Transportation Board Chairman Martin J. Oberman in a letter Nov. 18 to fill three vacant seats on the board’s Rail Energy Transportation Advisory Committee with coal industry representatives.

The seats have been open for more than two years, according to a news release the Wyoming State Delegation’s office issued at 1:30 p.m. today.

“These representatives would help ensure the Wyoming coal industry had a voice in surface transportation regulations for the energy industry,” the release said.

In the letter, U.S. Senators Cynthia Lummis and Dr. John Barrasso wrote that coal’s the largest volume commodity on U.S. railways and rail service is impacting coal production.

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“The lack of rail service is keeping coal from being shipped to utilities under service contracts and is even reducing the amount of mined coal,” the letter said. “Missed trains and large delays caused by a lack of crews and irregular schedules have forced some coal mines to limit the production of coal, which ultimately results in lost jobs, despite the high demand and abundantly available resources.”