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The Surface Transportation Board (STB) on Oct. 25 will host a public roundtable featuring economists who'll discuss an independent study on the board's approach to freight-rail rate regulation. The study, conducted by InterVISTAS Consulting LLC, assessed the STB's stand-alone cost (SAC) rate reasonableness methodology and possible alternatives. The work required InterVISTAS to seek alternative methodologies to SAC that could be used to reduce the time, complexity and expense historically involved in rate cases; determine whether SAC is sufficient for large rate cases; and whether the STB's simplified methodologies were appropriate alternatives to SAC, according to an STB press release.After the roundtable, the STB will schedule a public hearing on rate reasonableness methodologies. The STB will deliberate regulations concerning large rate cases after it considers the expert and stakeholder views.Participants invited to the roundtable include Michael Tretheway of InterVISTAS; Richard Schmalensee of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Wesley Wilson of the University of Oregon; John Mayo and Jeffrey Macher of Georgetown University; Mark Cooper of the Consumer Federation of America; Russell Pittman of the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice; and William Huneke, chief economist, and William Brennan, deputy director, of the STB Office of Economics.
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