ACC supports US president’s call for Congressional action to prevent rail strike
HOUSTON (ICIS)–The American Chemistry Council (ACC) supports the call by US president Joe Biden for legislative actions through Congress to prevent a strike of US rail workers that could be called as early as 9 December.
Biden urged Congress on Monday to pass legislation to adopt the tentative agreement reached in September between railroad workers and companies without any modifications or delays to avoid a strike after membership of one of the largest unions voted to reject the deal.
“We understand this is a challenging situation and we commend President Biden for directly engaging with Congress to find a solution,” ACC President and CEO Chris Jahn said.
US chemical manufacturers are one of largest users of freight rail as the industry ships more than 33,000 carloads per week worth $2.8bn.
Many chemical facilities would be forced to curtail production or shut down within the first week of a rail service embargo.
“Chemical manufacturers are less than a week away from being unable to transport chemicals critical to everyday life as railroads start to restrict service in advance of the strike deadline,” Jahn said.
“Many of these chemical shipments are needed to protect public health and safety, including water treatment and to support every segment of the economy, from farms to factories,” Jahn said.
In 2021, freight railroads moved 2.2m carloads of plastics, fertilizers and other chemicals.
The highest-volume chemical carried by US railroads is ethanol.
More than half of all rail chemical carloads consist of various industrial chemicals, including soda ash, caustic soda, urea, sulphuric acid and anhydrous ammonia.
Plastic materials and synthetic resins account for close to a quarter of rail chemical carloads.
Most of the rest is agricultural chemicals.
In the US, chemical railcar loadings represent about 20% of chemical transportation by tonnage, with trucks, barges and pipelines carrying the rest.
Thumbnail shows train track. Image by Shutterstock.
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