The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee approved, by voice vote on Aug. 1, the nomination of Martin Oberman to serve on the Surface Transportation Board, which provides regulatory oversight of the freight rail industry.
The full Senate now can confirm all three STB nominees during its August work period. Oberman, who President Donald Trump nominated on July 5, enjoyed an uncontentious nomination hearing on July 26. He would fill the Democratic seat vacated by former STB Chairman Dan Elliott, whose term expires on Dec. 31, 2023. Two other STB nominees – Patrick Fuchs and Michelle Schultz, both Republicans – successfully completed confirmation hearings in April before the Senate committee.
During his testimony, Oberman pledged to bring a “fresh outlook” to the STB.
“Honoring precedent and not changing systems that are not broken are important values to which I adhere, and there are often sound reasons to continue operations and policies used in the past, particularly with respect to railroads,” he said. “Nevertheless, it is also critical to be willing and able to question practices if they appear to be archaic and ineffective at meeting the changing needs of consumers and businesses or keeping pace with technological advancement and the global economy.”
Read more about Oberman’s hearing summarized by NGFA President Randy Gordon here.