October 20, 2015

Contact: Andrew Jerome, 202-314-3106

WASHINGTON (October 20, 2015) – National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson applauded the announcement of a proposed three-year extension to the December 31, 2015, deadline for railroads to install Positive Train Control (PTC). He urged Congress to swiftly pass the extension to ensure American family farmers, ranchers, and all those that rely on rail do not experience interrupted service.

“NFU appreciates the bicameral and bipartisan support for a three-year extension on the PTC deadline,” said Johnson. “Congress must realize that the economic harm will come well in advance of the December 31 deadline should they not act swiftly, and that they need to pass an extension by early November.”

Johnson noted that NFU has been working for the past two months with a wide swath of industry coalitions including the American Chemistry Council and The Fertilizer Institute to educate Congress on the severe impacts a broad rail service disruption would have on the U.S. economy. In fact, the American Chemistry Council estimates that this type of disruption for just one month would pull $30 billion dollars out of the economy and increase the unemployment rate with a loss of 700,000 jobs.

“Family farmers are already experiencing low commodity prices, and delays in rail service would only pile on additional economic strain,” said Johnson. “Congress needs to act swiftly to avoid unnecessary delays in rail service.”

National Farmers Union has been working since 1902 to protect and enhance the economic well-being and quality of life for family farmers, ranchers and rural communities through advocating grassroots-driven policy positions adopted by its membership.