New Surface Board of Transportation Committee Role Will Give Voice to Coal Producers on Rail Transportation Issues

Broomfield, CO – March 13, 2022 – This week, Navajo Transitional Energy Company’s Chief Executive Officer, Vern Lund, was honored to be appointed alongside eight other new members to the Surface Transportation Board’s Rail Energy Transportation Advisory Committee (RETAC). Mr. Lund will serve the committee as a representative of coal producers. About the appointment, Mr. Lund notes, “It is a privilege to join this important committee during a time when rail transportation is struggling to meet the country’s needs. I feel it is critical that we provide constructive criticism and collaborative ideas to push the rail industry forward to address these issues.”

Mr. Lund joins other new members including:

  • Adam Anderson, Chief Executive Officer and General Manager of Western Fuels Association Inc, serving as a representative of private railcar owners and lessors.
  • James Grech, President and Chief Executive Officer of Peabody Energy, serving as a coal producer representative.
  • Christopher Hand, Director of Research for the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen serving as a labor organization representative.
  • John Hayspert, Vice President of Government and Institutional Relations for Hitachi Energy, serving as a renewable energy sources representative.
  • Paul Lang, Chief Executive Officer and President of Arch Resources, Inc, serving as a coal producer representative.
  • Dave Slade, Chief Technologist for Chevron Renewable Energy Group, as a biofuel representative.
  • Ben Sweat, Chief Operating Officer of POET Biofuels and POET Pure, serving as a renewable energy sources representative.

Speaking about the new additions to the board, Chairman Martin Oberman said, “These nine new members of RETAC represent a broad range of experience in various industries and bring to the committee an intimate knowledge of real-world operations. It is imperative that the Board bring together as many voices as possible in our stakeholder committees.  RETAC continues to provide a diversity of perspectives and I look forward to working with these new members to discuss issues related to ensuring the effective and efficient rail transportation of energy resources.”

Established by the Surface Transportation Board in 2007, RETAC provides advice and guidance to the board, serving as a “forum for discussion of emerging issues regarding the transportation by rail of energy resources (including coal, ethanol, and other biofuels).” RETAC includes approximately 28 voting members across industries, interests, and communities.

More information about RETAC and its next meeting can be found here: