A bipartisan group of congressional leaders is trying once again to push through legislation to provide a tax credit for companies seeking to replace or modernize “inefficient, outdated” freight railcars.
Reps. Bradley Scott Schneider, D-Ill.,and Darin LaHood, R-Ill., introduced the bill, H.R. 7902, the Freight Railcar Act, last Friday.
It has 29 co-sponsors, all of whom have previously signed on to a similar bill in past legislative sessions.
An iteration of this bill was first introduced in the House in August 2020. A similar bill was introduced in March 2021. When reintroducing the bill last year, Schneider and LaHood said the legislation would incentivize investments in safer and more environmentally friendly railcars while also supporting the North American steel and rail components supply chain.
The Railway Supply Institute (RSI), a trade group representing railcar and rail equipment manufacturers, praised the reintroduction of the bill.
“The Freight RAILCAR Act will help improve the safety and efficiency of the North American railcar fleet while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and supporting thousands of manufacturing jobs up and down the supply chain across the United States,” said RSI President Patty Long in a release. “By incentivizing private investments in higher capacity and more fuel efficient railcars, Congress can help the rail industry build a more environmentally friendly fleet.”
Long added that the legislation would help ensure that the freight railcar fleet is in full compliance with a Department of Transportation rule governing the safe transportation of energy products. The bill could put companies ahead of schedule in complying with the rule.