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Shell ..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
RAILROAD'S KEY TO ECON .................................................................................. 2
COAL KEY ......................................................................................................................................................................................................................
D/A TURNS CASE ....................................................................................................
LINKS............................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 7



Coal D/A Shell 1/4

A. The freight railway industry is growing because of global
trade. Coal is a significant portion of US rail hauls.

Ahrens in 08
Frank, Freight railway industry seeing a spike, Washington Post, April 26, 2008,

The freight railway industry is enjoying its biggest building boom

in nearly a century, a turnaround as abrupt as it is ambitious. It is largely fueled by
growing global trade and rising fuel costs for semitrailer trucks. In 2002, the major railroads laid off 4,700 workers;
in 2006, they hired more than 5,000. Profit has doubled industry-wide since 2003,

and stock prices have soared. The value of the largest railroad,
the Union Pacific, has tripled since 2001. This year alone, the railroads will spend nearly $10
billion to add track, build switchyards and terminals, and open tunnels to handle the coming flood of traffic. Freight rail tonnage will rise nearly
90 percent by 2035, according to the Transportation Department. In the 1970s, tight federal regulation, cheap truck fuel and a wide-open
interstate highway system conspired to cripple the railroad industry, driving many lines into bankruptcy. The nation's 300,000 miles of rails
became a web of slow-moving, poorly maintained lines, so dilapidated in spots that tracks would give way under standing trains. The
Staggers Rail Act of 1980 largely deregulated the industry, leading to a wave of consolidation. More than 40 major lines condensed into the

But the changing global market has

seven that remain, running on 162,000 miles of track.

fueled prosperity -- and the need to add track for the first time in
80 years. Soaring diesel prices and a driver shortage have
pushed freight from semitrailer trucks back onto the rails. At the same
time, China's unquenchable appetite for coal and the escalating U.S. demand for Chinese goods, means more U.S. rail traffic is heading to

Coal still accounts for the most

ports in the Northwest, on its way to and from the Far East.

tonnage hauled by U.S. railroads, but it is the ocean-crossing shipping container -- carrying autos,
toys, furniture and nearly every product a consumer will buy -- that has lit a rocket under the railroad industry. Passenger rail traffic is also
increasing; 2007 was Amtrak's fifth consecutive year of increased ridership, up 6 percent from 2006.


B. Coal shipping accounts for a significant portion of railroad's

revenue. Reducing the amount of coal used in power-plants
hurts railroads.
New York State Energy Research and Development Authority in 00
accessed 5/29/08

Coal is an important commodity carried by rail. In 2000, railroads

received $7.8 billion, in excess of 20% of their revenues, from transporting coal, and coal
comprised 758 million tons, or over 40%, of the total tons of freight hauled by rail. Over the past ten years,

the rail industry’s share of coal transportation has increased,

primarily to satisfy increased demand for low-sulfur western coal.
About 74% of U.S. low-sulfur coal reserves are located in Montana and Wyoming. Domestic railroads carried 68 percent of the nation‟s coal,
transporting an average of 14.4 million tons of coal per week in 2000. Coal is also moved by barges, ships, and trucks, where these modes
of transportation are economical. A few electricity-generating facilities are located near coal mines and receive their coal directly by
conveyor or coal-slurry pipeline. Average coal rail hauls are getting longer, reflecting the increased penetration of western coal carried by rail
into southern and eastern U.S. markets. The average haul of coal by rail grew by 33% from 485 miles in 1979 to 643 miles in 1995.
Railroads continually adopt technological innovations that offer customers greater flexibility. One example is the “coaltainer”, a container
designed especially for transporting coal by rail and by truck. Another innovation for transporting coal by rail is the use of real-time satellite
monitoring and computerized traffic management systems to improve the scheduling and routing of trains. These electronic traffic
management systems will become increasingly important as more electricity generators move toward “just-in-time” inventory management.
NEW YORK STATE OVERVIEW New York used 311 trillion Btu of coal in 2000. This figure represents 8% of the State‟s total primary
energy use of 4,094 trillion Btu. New York has no coal mining activity and no known coal reserves. In 2000, the average cost of coal
delivered to New York electricity generators was $39.11 per ton, over 60% higher than the national average of $23.83 per ton. Coal Use in
New York State In 2000, nearly 12.1 million tons of coal were used in New York State, representing 1% of the nation‟s demand. About 80%
of this coal was used to produce electricity; the industrial sector accounted for 18%; residential and commercial use accounted for the
remaining 2%. Over the past several years, the amount of coal used for electricity generation has remained relatively stable, while coal used
by the other end-use sectors (residential, commercial, and industrial) has declined. New York State Coal-Fired Generating Units New York
has 16 coal-fired electricity generating plants located in thirteen counties of the State. These facilities, listed in Table 6, represent nearly
4,000 megawatts of net summer capability for the New York electricity system, accounting for 16% (24,520 gigawatt-hours) of electricity
generated in the State in 2000. These plants are all located outside of the metropolitan New York City area; the greatest concentration is in
Western New York. New York State Electricity Coal Prices In the electricity generation sector, the average delivered cost of coal to New
York has remained fairly stable over the past ten years, as shown in Table 7. Table 8 lists detailed average delivered cost of coal to New
York State electricity generating plants for the year 2000. The average sulfur content of coal delivered to the State‟s electricity generators in
2000 was 1.1% by weight, compared to the U.S. average of 0.9%. Because New York generators buy eastern coal, the Btu content of coal
used for electricity generation is much higher than the U.S. as a whole, 13,117 Btu per pound on average for New York, compared to 10,115
Btu per pound nationally. Origin of Domestic Coal Used in New York State In 1999, domestic coal delivered to New York originated in six
states. Pennsylvania and West Virginia accounted for 87%. By far the dominant mode of coal transportation into New York is rail. Coal is
also moved by barge and trucks to end-users in New York. Barge transport of coal occurs primarily on Lake Erie. Table 9 lists the origin of

Some coal-fired power plant operators have

domestic coal delivered to New York in 1999 by method of transportation.

expressed concerns over the potential adverse economic

impacts of State actions to limit the present and future use of coal
for electricity generation. In particular, they cite the strong dependence
of New York‟s rail freight industry on coal transportation and suggest
that limiting coal use would hurt the railroads and those other industries and
businesses that rely on the railroads for delivery of supplies and products.


C. A reduction in railroads would severely hurt the US economy.

Railroads are key to US economic well-being and global competitiveness.
They transport much of the nation's freight, they pay billions in taxes and
they employ hundreds of thousands of people.
US Department of Interior in 08
(Overview of U.S. Freight Railroads,
Last modified: April 29, 2008 15:58)

railroads are critical to the economic well-being and global


competitiveness of the United States. They move 42 percent of

our nation's freight (measured in ton-miles) - everything from lumber to vegetables, coal to orange juice, grain
to automobiles, and chemicals to scrap iron - and connect businesses with each other across the country and with markets

They also contribute billions of dollars each year to the


economy through investments, wages, purchases, and taxes. There

were 554 common carrier freight railroads operating in the United States in 2002, classified into five groups.Class I Railroads *
The Burlington Northern and Santa Fe (BNSD. * CSX Transportation (CSX). * Grand Trunk Corporation, which consists of the
U.S. operations of Canadian National (CN), including the former Grand Trunk Western (GTW), Illinois Central (IC), and Wisconsin
Central. * Kansas City Southern (KCS). * Norfolk Southern (NS). * The former Soo Line (800), owned by Canadian Pacific (CP).
* Union Pacific (UP).Class I railroads are those with operating revenue of at least $272 million in 2002. Class I carriers comprise
only 1 percent of the number of U.S. freight railroads, but they account for 70 percent of the industry's mileage operated, 89
percent of its employees, and 92 percent of its freight revenue. Class I carriers typically operate in many different states and
concentrate largely (though not exclusively) on long-haul, high-density intercity traffic lanes. There are seven Class I railroads
<note 1 see below> ranging in size from just over 3,000 to more than 33,000 miles operated and from 2,600 to more than 46,000
employees.Regional railroads are linehaul railroads with at least 350 route miles and/or revenue of between $40 million and the
Class I threshold. There were 31 regional railroads in 2002. Regional railroads typically operate 400 to 650 miles of road serving a
region located in two to four states. Most regional railroads employ between 75 and 500 workers, although four have more than
600 employees.Chart showing 2002 values for U.S. freight railroad industry. Includes type of railroad, miles operated, employees
and revenue. Source: Association of American Railroads Local linehaul carriers operate less than 350 miles and earn less than $40
million per year. In 2002, there were 309 local linehaul carriers. They generally perform point-to-point service over short distances.
Most operate less than 50 miles of road (more than 20 percent operate 15 or fewer miles) and serve a single state. Switching and
terminal (S&T) carriers are railroads, regardless of revenue, that primarily provide switching and/or terminal services. Rather than
point-to-point transportation, they perform pick up and delivery services within a specified area for one or more connecting
linehaul carriers, often in exchange for a flat per-car fee. In some cases, S&T carriers funnel traffic between linehaul railroads. In
2002, there were 205 S&T carriers. The largest S&T carriers handle hundreds of thousands of carloads per year and earn tens of
millions of dollars in revenue. In addition, the two major Canadian freight railroads Canadian National Railway and Canadian

U.S. freight railroads employ

Pacific Railway - each have extensive U.S. operations.

approximately 177,000 people, the vast majority of whom are

unionized. With average total compensation in 2002 of more than
$80,000, freight railroad employees are among the nation's most-
highly compensated workers. By any measure of capital
intensity, freight railroads are at or near the top among all major
U.S. industries. From 1980 through 2003, Class I railroads spent more than $320 billion approximately 44 percent of
their operating revenue - on capital expenditures and maintenance expenses related to infrastructure and equipment. Non-Class I
carriers spent billions of dollars more. These massive expenditures help ensure that railroads have the capability to offer high
quality, safe, and cost-effective service to meet the freight transportation needs of our nation.


D. Economic decline causes global nuclear war

Thomas Beardon, fmr Lt Col, 2000 [“The Unnecessary Energy Crisis: How to Solve It Quickly,” http://www.fre, June 24]

History bears out that desperate

nations take desperate actions. Prior to the final economic
collapse, the stress on nations will have increased the intensity and number of their
conflicts, to the point where the arsenals of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) now possessed
by some 25 nations, are almost certain to be released. As an example, suppose a starving North Korea
launches nuclear weapons upon Japan and South Korea, including U.S. forces there, in a spasmodic suicidal response. Or suppose a
desperate China-whose long-range nuclear missiles (some) can reach the United States-attacks Taiwan. In addition to immediate
responses, the mutual treaties involved in such scenarios will quickly draw other nations into the conflict, escalating it significantly. Strategic
nuclear studies have shown for decades that, under such extreme stress conditions, once a few nukes are launched, adversaries and
potential adversaries are then compelled to launch on perception of preparations by one's adversary. The real legacy of the MAD concept is
this side of the MAD coin that is almost never discussed. Without
effective defense, the only chance a nation
has to survive at all is to launch immediate full-bore pre-emptive strikes and try to take out its
perceived foes as rapidly and massively as possible. As the studies showed, rapid escalation to full WMD exchange occurs. Today, a great
percent of the WMD arsenals that will be unleashed, are already on site within the United States itself. The resulting great
Armageddon will destroy civilization as we know it, and perhaps most of the biosphere, at least for many


(_______) Coal is the most important commodity carried by rail.

US Department of Interior in 08
(Overview of U.S. Freight Railroads,
Last modified: April 29, 2008 15:58)

Coal is the most important single commodity carried by rail. In 2002, it accounted for 44 percent
of tonnage and 21 percent of revenue for Class I railroads. The vast majority of coal in the
United States is used to generate electricity at coal-fired power plants. Coal accounts for half of
all U.S. electricity generation, far more than any other fuel source, and railroads handle
approximately two-thirds of all U.S. coal shipments.


(_______) Alternative Energy Link: Railroads haul most of the US coal. Policies that
restrict emissions will lead to additional cost for railroads.

Brown in 07
(Matthew, FindArticles > Oakland Tribune > Jul 8, 2007 > Article > Print friendly, Railroads put money on coal despite pollution, economic
concerns, Matthew Brown, Associated Press,

GILLETTE, Wyo. -- The cloud that hangs over the coal industry for its contribution to global warming has yet to cast a shadow here, across
Railroads across the
the vast network of railroad lines that haul coal from the sun-baked flats of the Powder River Basin.
country are spending hundreds of millions of dollars buying locomotives, adding track
and building cars. Much of the activity is focused on upgrades to the nation's coal
transportation network, and nowhere is the spending as intense as in the Powder River Basin of northeastern Wyoming and
southeastern Montana. "They're clearly putting their chips on coal remaining the largest source
of energy in the United States," said railroad industry consultant Anthony Hatch. The resurgence in spending, after a
slowdown earlier this decade, is not the first time the industry has gone on a building binge. What's striking, observers say, is the amount of
resources going into coal at a time when utilities across the nation are under pressure to switch to less polluting fuels.
accounts for 21 percent of industry revenues -- $11 billion of $53 billion in 2006. More
than 852 million tons were hauled last year by the major railroads, accounting for
almost 80 percent of the coal produced in the United States, according to the Association of American
Railroads. Almost all of it went to power plants. So as mining and utility companies wage a public relations campaign
to parry rising criticism of their contribution to climate change, railroads are joining the fight. In public speeches, on media tours and in
corporate reports, railroad executives are touting the advantages of coal as a low-cost energy source with ample domestic supplies.
Parroting the message of the utility industry, they point out that coal produces an estimated 52 percent of the nation's electricity. They stress
future technologies could potentially reduce power plant emissions of carbon dioxide -- a major greenhouse gas. And they remind that rail
remains the most efficient way of getting coal from mine to plant. These actions have not gone unnoticed. Frank Wilner, an economist with
the railroads of going a step beyond coal advocacy, to lobby against
the United Transportation Union, has accused
legislative proposals for a new tax or other restrictions on carbon emissions. Wilner described the
utility, mining and rail industries as "arm in arm, fighting any carbon taxes or any additional costs that
might be imposed to clean the coal."



(______) Even a small reduction in coal use would hurt the railroad companies bottom
lines. A 4% reduction in coal would cause an 11% reduction from railroad companies.

Tennant in 03
(Tessa, et al, Chair of Carbon Disclosure Project, Carbon Disclosure Project 2003,
%22+%22railroads%22&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=43&gl=us, accessed 5/29/08)

At the company level, an analysis of corporate “carbon beta” – the

carbon risks of a particular company
relative to its sector – indicates that the threat to shareholder value varies widely, even
between companies in the same sector. Our analysis of the responses indicates that
the greatest exposure to loss of shareholder value resides with companies that: Are in
sectors most affected by emissions regulations, or most exposed to weather extremes 2. Have operations in
parts of the world where emissions regulations have been or are being promulgated, or where vulnerability to climate extremes is greatest 3.
Have, in our opinion, below par risk management strategies in place to respond to carbon Based on information supplied by companies in
their CDP responses, coupled with emissions data and additional input acquired independently , we have evaluated the
relative GHG intensity of companies in ‘high-risk’ sectors – including auto manufacturing, chemicals,
metals mining and steel, electric utilities, and integrated oil and gas – and estimated the costs of meeting GHG
compliance targets as a percentage of net asset value, market capitalization, net
income or, in some cases, annual cash flow. For companies primarily affected
indirectly by climate change risks – firms from the banking, insurance, transportation, manufacturing,
communications and technology services – the rating process is based on our assessment of
management strategy and the concentration of business activities in most affected
regions. For details on sector specific impacts, plus an overview of corporate strategic positioning on climate change,refer to sector
analysis in Appendix A (page 35).In summary, we recommend the following as being the key factors influencing corporate financial risk from
climate change and GHG mitigation:Poor overall strategic awareness leading to erosion of competitive advantage and general market
underperformance GHG emissions intensity which increases the overall company compliance burden Energy intensity which increases
vulnerability to fuel and electricity price rises Geographic split which determines a company‟s weighted average country carbon reduction
target,its exposure to weather extremes, and its ability to capitalize on financial incentives in clean power Marginal abatement cost and the
ability to purchase emissions credits which determines the direct capital implications of required emissions reductions Mix of products and
services which affects the extent to which the underlying business model is influenced by low carbon substitutes or weather extremes
Vulnerability to reputational damage which affects the extent to which a company is affected by popular sentiment in support of positive
action to address climate change COMPANY CARBON BETA EVALUATION• FT500 auto manufacturers vary by a factor of 35x in terms of
reported CO2 emissions per vehicle sold/produced • At a cost of $20 per tonne of CO2 e, estimated costs to cut GHG emissions by
10%below 2001 levels as a percentage of annual cash flow range between 2.5% to 0.4% • Estimated total costs per MWh of reducing GHG
emissions intensity by 10%, rangefrom over $1.7 to below $0.2 • For some European utilities, the annual cost burden to reduce emissions
could be between 2.7% and 19.5% of net income • A one-time 5% reduction in 2001 „carbon intensity‟, at $10/tonne CO2e, would equate to
between 1.5% and 9% of earnings for that year • Total annual costs for 5 major FT500 M&M firms to cut 2001 CO2 emissions by 10% over 5
years, assuming uniform abatement cost of $20 per tonne, are $67 m• For the respective firms, this ranges from 0.3% to 1.5% of annual net
income • Analysis of total loans and acceptances indicates over 25% of some banks‟ loan portfoliosare directed towards „high-risk‟ sectors
facing significant GHG emissions restrictions • Share price valuations could fall by as much as 29% for banks without adequate carbon risk
A 4% reduction in coal shipments to
management strategies to guard against heightened loan impairment •
electric utilities in the U.S. caused by fuel switching to natural gas could lower total
freight revenues at the U.S.’ top 2 rail companies by the equivalent of roughly 11% of
2001 net income • A reduction in agricultural commodity shipments of 5% would further depress revenues by between 7.5% and
10.5% of net income • A 5% increase in raw agricultural commodity prices due to weather-induced supply constraints would reduce annual
net profits in some food retailers by up to 2%


(_______) Growth in railroads is key to promote US economic growth.

Millar in 05
William, 2005 , The U.S. Rail
Capacity Shortage (House Subcommittee on Railroads)

America long has enjoyed the most extensive and efficient transportation system in
the world. Today, other countries are catching up. Policies that support the growth of
railroads - passenger and freight - are critical to America's mobility and our ability to
compete in a global economy. The critical capacity issues affecting railroads - passenger and freight - are a part of an
overall crisis in transportation system capacity that also affects our airports, roadways, port facilities, and public transportation infrastructure.
Such congestion is putting severe stress on America's transportation and logistics network, which historically has given America its economic
edge. Positioning for a Rail Renaissance The past twenty-five years has been a period of significant change for the American railroad
industry. While the Staggers Act of 1980 is rightfully credited with helping the once threatened railroad industry become profitable again, it
has also led to significant consolidation and downsizing of America's railroad network. Rail freight traffic has grown in many places to the
limits of capacity. What has been rational and profitable from a railroad shareholder viewpoint, has also resulted in a downscaling of
America's overall rail network. Meanwhile, over this same 25 year period commuter railroads have blossomed, and have also been a major
success story. Last year, passengers took 423 million trips on our commuter railroads, a nationwide ridership increase of 2.8 percent from
the year 2004. Ridership increases are being experienced by every commuter railroad in America. The Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient
Transportation Equity Act - A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), enacted in summer 2005, includes significant funding to expand rail systems
and build new rail systems. This year, new commuter rail systems will open in Nashville and Albuquerque. New systems are in advanced
stages of development in Minneapolis, Salt Lake City, Portland, Charlotte, Raleigh, and Denver. Other communities are not far behind,
among them Phoenix, Ann Arbor, Austin, Atlanta, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh and Orlando. These projects will help reduce congestion and
provide mobility options, integrate regional economies, and provide one of the quickest ways for individuals and families to beat the high cost
of gasoline. Looking
to the future, railroads - passenger and freight - are poised to play an
even greater role in enabling commerce and economic growth.


(_______) Freight railroads are key to the US economy. They reduce pollution and provide billions of
dollars to the economy. A reduction in freight railroads hurts US economic competitiveness.
AAR in 08
AAR, American Association of Railroads, Policy and Economics Department, Overview of America's Freight Railroads, February, pg 8
Freight railroads offer major public benefits in addition to cost-competitiveness and
efficiency. First, railroads are more fuel efficient than other modes of transportation.
On average, railroads are three or more times more fuel efficient than trucks, and
railroad fuel efficiency is improving all the time. In 1980, railroads moved a ton of freight an average of 235
miles per gallon of fuel. In 2006, the comparable figure was 423 miles, an 80 percent improvement. If just 10 percent of the freight that
moves by highway moved by rail instead, annual fuel savings would exceed one billion gallons. Second, railroads are environmentally
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that for every ton-mile, a
typical truck emits roughly three times more nitrogen oxides and particulates than a
locomotive. (Other studies suggest an even greater advantage for railroads.) Because
of their fuel efficiency, railroads also have a clear advantage in terms of greenhouse
gas emissions. Third, freight railroads reduce highway gridlock. A typical train takes the freight equivalent of several hundred
trucks off our highways. Overcrowded highways act as an “inefficiency tax,” seriously constraining economic growth. Freight railroads help
relieve this restriction by reducing congestion, enhancing mobility, and reducing the costs of maintaining existing roads and the pressure to
build costly new roads. Fourth, railroads have major safety advantages over other modes. For example, trucks have significantly higher
fatality and injury rates than railroads. International Comparisons According to World Bank data, the U.S. freight railroad industry leads the
world (often by large margins) or is near the top among all nations in terms of miles of track, traffic volume, productivity, affordability, and
other measures. The U.S. dominance is a direct consequence of a market-based system under which economic regulation is limited. The
“Because of a market-based approach involving minimal
World Bank‟s railways adviser has noted that,
government intervention, today’s U.S. freight railroads add up to a network that,
comparing the total cost to shippers and taxpayers, gives the world’s most cost-
effective freight service.” Over the years, countries in every corner of the globe have
restructured and privatized their freight rail systems, looking to the United States for
guidance. The most successful restructurings have imitated the U.S. model of “vertical integration,” in which a railroad both owns the track (and
affiliated infrastructure) and operates the trains over that track. Prior to Amtrak‟s creation in 1970, intercity passenger rail service in the United States was
provided by the same companies that provided freight service. When Amtrak was formed, in return for government permission to exit the passenger rail
business (and avoid the hundreds of millions of dollars in annual losses from passenger operations they were forced to incur), freight railroads donated
passenger equipment to Amtrak and helped it get started with a capital infusion of some $200 million (well over $800 million in today‟s dollars). Today, Amtrak is
the only intercity passenger railroad in the continental United States. The vast majority of the 22,000 or so miles over which Amtrak operates are actually owned
by freight railroads. (Amtrak owns approximately 750 miles of railroad, primarily from Boston to Washington, D.C.) By law, freight railroads must grant Amtrak
access to their track upon request and must give priority to Amtrak trains over all other trains. Amtrak pays fees to freight railroads to cover the incremental
costs of Amtrak‟s use of freight railroad tracks. These fees do not come close to covering the full costs borne by the host freight railroads associated with the
operation of Amtrak trains over their tracks. Commuter and light rail passenger service is offered in a couple dozen cities throughout the United States. Many
commuter rail operators own all or part of the right-of-way (sometimes purchased from freight railroads) on which they operate. Some commuter and light rail
systems operate primarily or exclusively over tracks owned by freight railroads. To avoid the time and expense of new right-of-way acquisition, the vast majority
of proposed new commuter operations and existing commuter passenger operators who want to extend their operations typically advocate using freight railroad
right-of-way. Before non-Amtrak passenger rail operators can begin operations on freight-owned track, they must first reach agreement, through arms-length
negotiations, on a wide variety of engineering, operational, and legal issues, such as liability, hours of passenger operations, access fees, number of passenger
Freight railroads recognize the potential public benefits of passenger service
trains, and so on.
and work to accommodate passenger trains when mutually-beneficial arrangements
can be negotiated, as the many successful examples of passenger trains operating on
freight-owned property make clear. However, passenger service must not degrade freight railroads‟ ability to serve
their current and future freight customers. The goal of reducing pollution and highway congestion by expanding rail
passenger service will not be realized if passenger trains interfere with freight service and thereby force freight
onto the highways. Conclusion America’s freight railroads connect businesses with each
other across the country and with markets overseas over a rail network spanning
140,000 miles. They form the most efficient and cost-effective freight rail system in the
world, saving our economy billions of dollars each year — while reducing pollution,
energy consumption, and greenhouse gas emissions; relieving highway congestion; and enhancing safety.
Freight railroads provide a major boost to our global competitiveness and enhance our
standard of living and quality of life. They are the vital link to our economic future.



(_______) A reduction in railroads turns the affirmative case. Railroads are more efficient and
better for the environment than other sources of transportation.

US Department of Interior in 08
(Overview of U.S. Freight Railroads,
Last modified: April 29, 2008 15:58)

First, they have major advantages in energy efficiency over other modes. On average,
railroads are three times more fuel efficient than trucks, and railroad fuel efficiency is
improving all the time. In 1980, U.S. railroads moved a ton of freight an average of 235
miles per gallon of fuel. In 2002, the comparable figure was 404 miles, a 72 percent
increase. Second, railroads are environmentally friendly. The U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that for every ton-mile, a typical truck emits
roughly three times more nitrogen oxides and particulates than a locomotive. Other
studies suggest trucks emit six to 12 times more pollutants per ton-mile than do
railroads, depending on the pollutant measured. Railroads also have a clear advantage
in terms of greenhouse gas emissions. According to the EPA, railroads account for
just 9 percent of total transportation-related NOx emissions and 4 percent of
transportation-related particulate emissions, even though they account for 42 percent
of the nation's intercity freight ton-miles.