“Freight rail jobs are green jobs,” and Congress should provide tax credits to shift more freight from trucks and planes to rail.  So says the Blue Green Alliance and the Economic Policy Institute in their newly released report "Full Speed Ahead: Creating Green Jobs Through Freight Rail Expansion".

The Journal of Commerce notes the study "draws on numerous reports from government agencies, the national transportation commission and the rail industry. It includes editorial and technical input from the Association of American Railroads and the AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department." (Environmental Groups Tout Freight Rail Jobs.)

"The report recommends a new tax credit for “all businesses that make capacity-enhancing rail investments,” similar to a 25 percent break long sought by the large Class I freight railroads. It urges Congress to renew an expired credit for track repairs or upgrades by short line railroads, which has been repeatedly renewed in recent years but expired in December." The report also promotes public-private partnerships between freight and passenger rail systems, "under which governments help pay for track upgrades or facilities on freight lines to spur greater use of passenger train travel or improve average speeds."

The Blue Green Alliance is a coalition of "labor unions and environmental organizations dedicated to expanding the number and quality of jobs in the green economy" and was launched in 2006 by the United Steelworkers and the Sierra Club.

The Economic Policy Institute is a "nonprofit Washington D.C. think tank created in 1986 to broaden the discussion about economic policy to include the interests of low- and middle-income workers."

Photo: Tom Harpel/Flickr

Posted On 6/08/2010 11:00:00 AM by Larry Ehl |

edit post