AZ Utility Awarded $63M in Lawsuit Against Railroads

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

A small power cooperative in Arizona has won a major victory over two big railroads it accused of gouging it on coal-shipping rates.

BNSF Railway and Union Pacific Railroad were ordered to issue refunds or lower rates by about $63 million through 2018 to Arizona Electric Power Cooperative, Inc. The ruling was issued Nov. 23 by the Federal Surface Transportation Board, which resolves railroad rate disputes.

The utility complained in late 2008 after BNSF doubled its coal shipping rates. The railroads are the only way to get coal to its power plant in Cochise, Ariz.

The utility says it can now buy cheaper coal and possibly lower power rates.

A BNSF spokeswoman says the railroad can't comment. Spokesman
Tom Lange says UP is disappointed with the decision.

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