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The Vinyl Institute Joins Battle for Railway Reform

Trade Association pressures Congress for increased railway competition

Alexandria, Va., July 23, 2014 – The Vinyl Institute, a U.S. trade association representing the leading manufacturers of vinyl, vinyl chloride monomer, vinyl additives and modifiers, and vinyl packaging materials, is one of nearly two dozen industrial shippers in the battle for increased competition among railway companies.

The VI recently co-signed a letter to congressional leaders urging them to initiate railway reform through their Surface Transportation Board. The letter cites critical problems such as rate increases, service breakdowns and diminishing competition. The letter also states that more than three-quarters of United States rail stations are served by one major company.

“There were 26 Class I rail companies in 1980; now four corporations control more than 90 percent of the market,” the letter says.

“It is hard to ignore the challenges that shippers, including many in our industry, are faced with every day due to the lack in railway competition," said VI President Dick Doyle. “The need for the modernization of railway policy hits businesses hard in the form of increased rates and decreased reliability. I am hopeful that our lawmakers will see this need as well.”

This coalition of shippers, which includes representatives from the agricultural, architectural, energy and chemical industries, provides solutions to promote effective competition between railway companies. The group asks lawmakers to study STB staffing and resource requirements in addition to publicly reporting the status of their proceedings. They also support the option of binding arbitration as an alternative to the Board’s costly rate review procedure, as well as the need to provide competitive switching to shippers.

The VI works on behalf of its members to promote the benefits of the world’s most versatile plastic, used to make everything from blood bags to flooring. The VI actively monitors and addresses proposed governmental legislation, regulation, codes, standards, building rating systems and eco-labels. The vinyl industry in the United States employs over 350,000 highly skilled employees at nearly 3,000 facilities, and generates an economic value of $54.4 billion.

The VI and its partners in reformation hope to see their proposed changes included in the next long-term surface transportation bill.

                                                                                                          

About the Vinyl Institute:

The Vinyl Institute, founded in 1982, is a U.S. trade association representing the leading manufacturers of vinyl, vinyl chloride monomer, vinyl additives and modifiers, and vinyl packaging materials. The Vinyl Institute serves as the collective voice for the vinyl industry by engaging industry stakeholders in shaping the future of vinyl. For more information visit: vinylinfo.org