Hedlund Confirmed for STB Seat

The U.S. Senate this week confirmed Karen J. Hedlund to a seat on the five-member U.S. Surface Transportation Board.

Hedlund, a Democrat, will replace Republican Ann D. Begeman, who was serving on the Board in holdover status after her term expired.

Nominated by President Joseph Biden last April, Hedlund’s nomination had stalled due to the objection of Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah). 

There had been speculation Lee wanted to keep Hudlund off the Board until it acted on a petition to create the 85-mile Uinta Basin Railway, which was to carry crude oil from the Uinta Basin to a connection with Union Pacific.

The STB approved the Unita Basin project this week and the Senate subsequently approved Hedlund’s nomination for unanimous consent.

Railway Age columnit Frank Wilner reported that Lee may have worried that Hedlund would, like STB Chairman Martin J. Oberman, have concerns about the Unita Basin project and might vote against it.

In other Senate action, Senator Rick Scott (R-Florida) objected to confirmation of Amitabha Bose to be Federal Railroad Administrator.

Bose is currently serving as Deputy Administrator and will continue in that role indefinitely.

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