Donnelly, Bipartisan Members of Indiana Delegation: Ensure Any Acquisition of Norfolk Southern Corporation is in Public Interest

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly led a bipartisan group of members from the Indiana congressional delegation in urging the Surface Transportation Board (STB) to thoroughly review and ensure that any merger or acquisition of Norfolk Southern Corporation is in the public interest and will increase competition among rail carriers. Donnelly and eight members of the congressional delegation sent a letter in response to Canadian Pacific Railway’s attempts to acquire Norfolk Southern, which employs 2,500 employees in Indiana.

In the letter, Donnelly and the members wrote, “For more than 100 years, Norfolk Southern has been a strong and productive corporate citizen in the State of Indiana, housing a divisional headquarters in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and operating 1,450 route miles of track with numerous rail yards across the state. We have heard from many potentially impacted manufacturers and other stakeholders regarding their concerns with the proposed merger.”

“…We urge you to ensure that any proposed acquisition of Norfolk Southern by Canadian Pacific is in the public interests of Hoosier consumers, manufacturers, and shippers. Further, we respectfully request that the STB monitor this situation closely to prevent any arrangement that Canadian Pacific would use to circumvent the Surface Transportation Board’s merger review process.”

The STB has the ability to approve or disapprove mergers and acquisitions in the railroad industry. The STB is required to assess, among other things, whether the proposed merger will serve the public interest and whether it will benefit competition among rail carriers.

The full text of the letter follows.

 

February 4, 2016

 

The Honorable Daniel R. Elliott III

Chairman

Surface Transportation Board

395 E Street, S.W.

Washington, D.C. 20423

 

Dear Chairman Elliott and Surface Transportation Board Members:

We are writing to you regarding the Canadian Pacific Railway proposal to acquire Norfolk Southern Corporation. For more than 100 years, Norfolk Southern has been a strong and productive corporate citizen in the State of Indiana, housing a divisional headquarters in Fort Wayne, Indiana and operating 1,450 route miles of track with numerous rail yards across the state. We have heard from many potentially impacted manufacturers and other stakeholders regarding their concerns with the proposed merger. As a result, we urge you to thoroughly review and ensure that any merger or acquisition is consistent with the public interest and will benefit competition among rail carriers.

Norfolk Southern is an important presence in Indiana. The company employs more than 2,500 employees in our state, and contributes retiree benefits to nearly 1,000 more former employees, spouses, and survivors. Employment at Norfolk Southern accounted for nearly $182 million in wages in 2014, and the railroad’s expenditures contributed another $70 million in infrastructure investments and $115 million in purchases and payments to vendors throughout our economy. It also partners with 17 Indiana short line railroads and two ports – in Jeffersonville and Burns Harbor – to expand the reach of the manufacturers, consumers, and communities we represent. We believe that such long-term investments and partnerships by Norfolk Southern will support our state economy for generations to come by providing good-paying jobs to our residents and reliable service that expands the market reach of our local shippers and industries.

Congress has provided the Surface Transportation Board (STB) with the power to approve or disapprove mergers and acquisitions in the railroad industry after assessing, among other things, whether the proposed merger will serve the public interest and whether it will benefit competition among rail carriers. We urge you to ensure that any proposed acquisition of Norfolk Southern by Canadian Pacific is in the public interests of Hoosier consumers, manufacturers, and shippers. Further, we respectfully request that the STB monitor this situation closely to prevent any arrangement that Canadian Pacific would use to circumvent the Surface Transportation Board’s merger review process.

Thank you for your careful review of this matter.

Sincerely,

U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly

 

U.S. Senator Dan Coats

 

U.S. Representative Susan Brooks (IN-05)

 

U.S. Representative Larry Bucshon (IN-08)

 

U.S. Representative Andre Carson (IN-07)

 

U.S. Representative Luke Messer (IN-06)

 

U.S. Representative Todd Rokita (IN-04)

 

U.S. Representative Peter J. Visclosky (IN-01)

 

U.S. Representative Jackie Walorski (IN-02)

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