Anti-Trust Bust

An attempt by congress to protect consumers might do nothing but hurt.

If the Railroad Anti-Trust Act of 2009 passes, expect to see an increase on all goods transported by rail.

That means almost everything you use would cost more.

At issue is the use of rail road tracks. Each company owns their own lines, so to get a shipment across the nation they have to work together.

The bill's author Wisconsin Senator Herbert Kohl says that collaboration lets companies cheat consumers and set higher prices.

His act would add another agency to regulate this cooperation.

That's on top of the surface transportation agency and other federal groups that already monitor trains.

A similar system of regulation existed until 1980.

Since congress removed them, the average rail transport cost has dropped 54 percent, resulting in a savings of 10 billion dollars a year for consumers.

"If the regulatory climate were to reverse it self due to legislation like this those cost savings would disappear," BNSF spokesperson Pat Hiatt said.

So could area jobs. BNSF says they'd probably have to lay off some local workers if this bill rolls through congress onto the President's desk.

Our calls attempting to speak with the bill's author were unreturned.