Eugene, OR — U.S. freight railroads today should serve as an example to policymakers of what can be accomplished through smart regulation, writes Kevin Mannix, director of the Oregon Shipping Group, in a recent op-ed for The Register-Guard. Mannix, who previously served in both the Oregon Senate and House of Representatives, discusses the local economic impact of freight rail connections:

“In Oregon, where we have 20 freight railroads moving more than 63 million tons of freight annually, private rail investments mean more robust and efficient connections for home-state industries that drive local growth. Every dollar spent by a private rail company, rather than by taxpayers on publicly funded roads, is a dollar spent in support of the lumber industry, manufacturers, ports or our massive trade economy.”

He also notes that rail could play a role in climate change policy:

“It is also important to note that freight rail will be an important tool in our arsenal for addressing climate change. As Rep. DeFazio has emphasized, policymakers are looking to infrastructure policy to address climate. Shoring up rail — the greenest way to move freight over land — should be a logical focus for all levels of government. Freight trains take 3.5 million truckloads off Oregon roads every year and collectively account for just 2.1% of all U.S. transportation-related greenhouse gases.”

Read the Full Op-ed.