<HTML> <HEAD> <TITLE>96 Whiteside Testifies Before STB, Glen W. Squires, Wheat Life</TITLE> </HEAD> <body bgcolor="FFFFFF" text="000000" link="0000FF" vlink="FF0000" alink="0000FF"> <basefont face="Arial, Tahoma, Times New Roman" size="3" color="#000033"> <TABLE border="0" width="100%" cellspacing="0"> <TR align="left" valign="top"> <td><small> <A href="https://sgi25.netservers.net/bluefish.org/thefilm.htm">the film</A><br> <A href="forum.htm">forum</A><br> <A href="library.htm">library</A><br> <A href="tutorial.htm">tutorial</A><br> <A href="contact.htm">contact</A> </small></td> <TD> <A href="economic.htm"><img src="images/economic.gif" border="0" width="110" height="110" align="center" alt="Economic and dam related articles"></a> <TD> <CENTER><FONT FACE="Arial, Helvetica" COLOR="0000FF"> <strong><BIG><H2 align="center">Whiteside Testifies Before STB</H2> </BIG></STRONG></FONT><FONT COLOR="FF0000">by Glen W. Squires <BR>Wheat Life, June 2006</FONT></CENTER> </TABLE> <HR> <P align="left"> On behalf of the Washington Wheat Commission (WWC) and other state commissions, Terry Whiteside of Whiteside and Associates presented testimony in mid-May before the U.S. Surface Transportation Board (STB) on the issue of rail fuel surcharges, an issue important to Washington wheat growers.

He highlighted that, while elevator companies often pay the freight, growers bear the freight charges and that escalating surcharges are seriously eroding the viability of growers. He noted that growers also have higher fuel costs, but cannot pass on their costs. He also said rail fuel surcharge programs should be cost-based and based upon the fuel expended on individual movements.

Whiteside identified four inherent flaws in the current system in use by the railroads.

Whiteside emphasized that a mileage-based fuel surcharge program cannot be allowed to also be a profit center. He pointed out that wheat and barley producers are being assessed more fuel costs through surcharges than the incremental fuel costs associated with their actual movement such that producers are subsidizing the railroads and other shipping operations in the collection of fuel surcharges.

Whiteside described data showing that the railroads are collecting up to 40 percent more in fuel surcharges for these movements than the entire allocated fuel cost for the movement, which suggests wheat and barley producers are being subjected to fuel surcharges that not only cover the increases in fuel costs, but the entire fuel costs associated in movements.

Another key point of Whiteside’s testimony was that with fuel surcharges being a component charge for the foreseeable future, the STB must require that railroads report the actual fuel surcharge being collected for each railroad movement so the STB can report the data in the Public Waybill file. He also cautioned that railroads be required to minimize their fuel expense, expressing concern that the industry becomes comfortable with the ability to levy and receive surcharges which more than cover the full cost of fuel increases.

The Washington Wheat Commission acknowledges the excellent work of Whiteside in his representation before the STB on behalf of producers and the wheat industry.

<HR> <strong>Glen W. Squires</strong><br> <A href="http://www.wheatlifemagazine.com/0606/pg43_0606.pdf"> <I>Whiteside Testifies Before STB</I></a><BR> <strong>Wheat Life</STRONG>, March 2006 <HR> <P align="center"><CENTER> <BIG><strong>See what you can learn</STRONG></BIG><P> <A href="topic.htm">learn more on topics covered in the film</A><BR> <A href="https://sgi25.netservers.net/bluefish.org/video.htm">see the video</A><BR> <A href="script.htm">read the script</A><BR> <A href="songs.htm">learn the songs</A><BR> <A href="forum.htm">discussion forum</A><BR> <IMG src="salmon_swimming_md_wht.gif" width=150 height=70 alt="salmon animation"> </CENTER> </basefont> </body> </HTML>