WASHINGTON, DC – Government watchdog Accountable.US released a new analysis today finding nearly all seven Class I railroads enjoyed high profits amid the supply chain crisis while cutting costs, increasing shareholder handouts, and disclosing at least $9.37 million on lobbying related to competition, mergers, and Biden’s July 2021 executive order against the industry’s aggressive pricing.” The report comes in advance of this week’s House Financial Services Committee hearing on ‘Corporate Profiteering, Supply Chain Bottlenecks’, as well as the Labor Department’s release of its CPI report on inflation.

While the industry continues to blame the pandemic for its profiteering, the report highlights how the railroads collected a record $1.18 billion in fees for freight stuck in supply chain bottlenecks during the first nine months of 2021. Since 2010, the industry has spent $46 billion more on stock buybacks and dividends than investments in maintenance and equipment, which would have increased the rail system’s resilience against the kind of supply chain shocks that are currently straining consumers’ wallets and access to everyday necessities.

Like so many other wealthy industries, the big railroad companies have used the pandemic as cover to sock businesses with excessive fees that get passed onto everyday consumers. For years the railroad industry gutted investments in maintenance and equipment so they could further enrich a small group of investors. And now that the chickens have come home to roost in the form of supply chain bottlenecks, the industry is refusing to take any responsibility – opting instead to impose record fees and continue rewarding shareholders. This is runaway corporate greed, and until Congress pulls the brakes, consumers will continue to pay the price.” 

Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US.

For months, Accountable.US has been documenting how major companies across several industries are using the pandemic as an excuse to increase their wealth and line their shareholders’ pockets. Accountable.US recently released a report outlining how the trucking industry is blaming a self-inflicted driver shortage for supply chain woes while simultaneously profiteering off the inflation crisis and lobbying against pro-worker legislation. See more of Accountable.US’ research exposing corporate greed here. 


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