WASHINGTON, Jan. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Former Congressman Glenn English
will continue to lead the effort to pass rail reform legislation as
chairman of CURE, a coalition of freight rail customers. English, from
Oklahoma, served 10 terms in the U.S. House of Representatives and is now
CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA).
Many of the nation's more than 900 consumer-owned electric cooperatives
depend on the railroads to deliver the coal needed to generate power. The
railroads' failure to deliver coal on time has forced some power companies
to import foreign coal and turn to more expensive alternative energy
sources, despite the fact that the U.S. has the largest supply of coal in
"The nation's rail system needs increased competition and federal
oversight to meet the economic needs of this country," English said. "If
the Surface Transportation Board (STB) won't do it, then Congress must."
English will be joined in the effort by newly-elected CURE President
Donald Kimball, CEO of Arizona Electric Power Cooperative of Benson, AZ.
Kimball has been a leading voice in the power industry, serving as chairman
of the NRECA Power & Generation Standing Committee; chairman of the
Southwest Public Power Resources Group Management Committee; president of
the Western Power Producers, Inc.; and a director on ACES Power Marketing
Board of Managers.
CURE members also elected Joe Maher, senior vice president and general
manager of UPM-Blandin Paper Company in Grand Rapids, MN, as Vice
President; and Alan Cramer, an administrative manager for Total
Petrochemicals in Houston, as Secretary and Treasurer.
Other Executive Committee members include:
-- Ron Harper, CEO, Basin Electric Power Cooperative, Inc., of Bismarck,
-- Tom Heller, CEO, Missouri River Energy Services, of Sioux Falls, SD
-- Shelley Sahling-Zart, vice president and assistant counsel, Lincoln
Electric System, of Lincoln, NE
-- Bill Mohl, vice president, Entergy Services, Inc., of Woodlands, TX
-- Joe Hartsoe, managing director, federal policy, American Electric Power
of Columbus, OH
-- Chuck Manning, senior vice president and COO, Municipal Electric
Authority of Georgia of Atlanta
-- Steve Sharp, principal engineer, Arkansas Electric Cooperative
Corporation of Little Rock, AR
Reforms to federal rail policy are expected to be introduced soon in
the U.S. Congress. A recent GAO report, "Freight Railroads: Industry Health
Has Improved, but Concerns about Competition and Capacity Should be
Addressed," provided additional evidence of the need for reform. The
proposed legislation would repeal the antiquated antitrust exemptions of
the freight rail industry and reform the Surface Transportation Board to
ensure rail customer access to competition and reliable rail service for
customers at reasonable costs.
CURE is a coalition of rail customers seeking changes in federal law to
hold the railroads more accountable to the nation and their customers. The
group represents a wide variety of rail customers including municipal and
investor- owned utilities, rural electric co-ops, chemical, ethanol, cement
and other manufacturers, forest and paper companies, and their customers.
For more information visit www.railcure.org