Union Pacific spends US$1.49M in Q2 to lobby U.S. Congress on railroad regulations, pollution restrictions and highway shipping rules; 16% increase from year-ago Q2

Duncan Martell

Duncan Martell

Aug 17, 2011 – Associated Press

OMAHA, Nebraska , August 17, 2011 () – Union Pacific spent $1.49 million during the second three months of 2011 to lobby Congress on railroad regulations, pollution restrictions and highway shipping rules.

That's up from the $1.28 million the Omaha-based railroad spent during last year's second quarter. And it is higher than the $1.23 million Union Pacific spent on lobbying during the first quarter of this year, according to reports the railroad filed.

Union Pacific said it continued to oppose efforts to regulate railroad pricing more closely or enforce antitrust rules against the major freight railroads.

Congress has considered imposing new railroad pricing rules for several years but hasn't approved any proposals. Union Pacific and the other major freight railroads say they need to be able to charge enough to cover the cost of maintaining and expanding their rail networks.

In the period between April and June, Union Pacific lobbied Congress on several issues related to its business, according to a report filed July 19 with the House clerk's office.

Besides opposing new railroad antitrust restrictions, Union Pacific again supported a bill to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gas emissions. Coal-burning utilities are some of UP's biggest customers.

Union Pacific also supported a proposal that would have increased the federal weight limit on trucks carrying cargo on interstate highways. The railroad ships semitrailers and shipping containers on its trains as part of its intermodal service.

Union Pacific is the nation's largest railroad. It operates 32,400 miles of track in 23 states from the Midwest to the West and Gulf coasts.

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