Freight Group Names New Interim Head

RAIL: Freight group names new interim head 

Sean Reilly, E&E reporter

Published: Monday, January 19, 2015

As it pushes for tougher regulatory oversight of freight rail rates, Consumers United for Rail Equity (CURE) has named lobbyist Ann Warner as its interim executive director, the shippers coalition announced this morning.

Warner, who had been vice president and government affairs director for architectural and engineering firm Arcadis U.S. before opening her own consulting shop in 2013, last year oversaw creation of a restructuring plan intended to expand the coalition’s membership.

CURE’s membership currently includes organizations like the Edison Electric Institute, the American Chemistry Council and the American Forest & Paper Association, according to its website. The new plan, which Warner will be in charge of implementing, calls for adding members in such fields as agriculture and the energy and alternative fuels industries, a news release said.

“During her top-to-bottom review of CURE last fall, Ann demonstrated her ability to reconcile diverse opinions and achieve consensus,” Steve Sharp, the coalition’s immediate past president, said in the release. “I was also impressed by her knowledge of the legislative process and familiarity with the key congressional players on transportation issues.”

In a brief interview this morning, Warner said she initially expected to stay in the post about six months, but could remain past that point on a permanent basis depending on how circumstances play out.

She registered as a lobbyist for CURE on Friday, according to Senate records. The coalition had previously been represented by the firm of Van Ness Feldman LLP, but the two parted ways at the beginning of last year, a termination report indicates.

High on CURE’s to-do list this year is advancing a reintroduced version of S. 2777, a reauthorization bill that would expand the Surface Transportation Board’s leadership from three members to five and attempt to streamline the regulatory agency’s handling of rate complaints.

The bill, sponsored last year by now-retired Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), unanimously passed the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee in September (E&E Daily, Sept. 18, 2014). Co-sponsoring the measure was Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), who succeeded Rockefeller as the committee’s chairman this month. Thune plans to reintroduce the bill, a spokesman said last week.


— Posted on January 22, 2015 at 12:39 am by