The U.S. Supreme Court rejected BNSF Railway’s attempt to overturn a 2009 regulatory case decision that the railroad charged unreasonable rates on some coal shipments.
The original decision forced the railroad to pay reparations to shippers and set lower rates into the future.
The court action, conveyed in a simple listing of court orders, denied BNSF’s petition for review and let stand the Surface Transportation Board’s ruling against BNSF.
The Western Fuels Association and Basin Electric Power Cooperative had argued the carrier overcharged for coal shipments from Wyoming mines in the Power River Basin to a power plant at Moba Junction, Wyo. The STB said combined refunds and rate reductions it was ordering BNSF to make would be worth an estimated $345 million through 2024, and BNSF reportedly paid out $120 million in 2009.
STB decisions can only be appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals and ultimately the Supreme Court. BNSF sought the high court’s review after being denied a rehearing in the lower court. The Justice Department had joined the shippers to oppose the Supreme Court taking the case.