A few senior officials within the Biden administration have attempted to lay the blame for the train derailment just outside East Palestine, Ohio on the shoulders of former President Donald Trump, citing deregulation efforts made during his time in office, however the head honcho of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has referred to these efforts as “misinformation.”
Man, when even one of the top dogs in your own camp calls out a statement you made as garbage, you know said comments are definitely bogus. Can you imagine how frustrated the White House probably is with this individual after calling them out like that? Whew. Somebody isn’t getting a Christmas card this year.
The Daily Wire is reporting, “Local and state authorities previously evacuated all residents within one mile of the February 3 derailment and started a controlled burn of industrial chemicals on the vehicle to decrease the risk of an explosion, which could have sent shrapnel throughout the small town. Vinyl chloride, a known human carcinogen used to manufacture PVC, was emitted from five train cars in the form of massive plumes of black smoke visible throughout eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania.”
“Deputy White House Press Secretary Andrew Bates said in a statement provided to The Hill that the disaster was caused by Republican lawmakers and the Trump administration. He claimed that they ‘owe East Palestine an apology for selling them out to rail industry lobbyists’ and contended that Republican members of Congress ‘laid the groundwork for the Trump administration to tear up requirements for more effective train brakes,'” the report continued.
The report added, “Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who visited the Ohio community impacted by the train derailment one day after the former commander-in-chief, likewise said the Biden administration has been “constrained” on rail safety as a result of a “braking rule withdrawn by the Trump administration in 2018 because of a law passed by Congress in 2015.”
Both officials seem to have been making a reference to a rule that would have ultimately required some trains to make upgrades to their braking systems to electronically controlled pneumatic brakes, which are also known as ECP brakes. Jennifer Homendy, who is in charge of the independent federal agency that has been tasked with investigating the incident, encouraged those who made the claim the braking rule would have prevented the derailment to “stop spreading misinformation.”
Homendy took to social media where she said that the rule in question would have only applied to “high hazard flammable trains,” while the vehicle that derailed in Ohio was classified as a “mixed freight train” with too few hazardous cars to meet the threshold for the regulation. She went on to add that the train wouldn’t have had ECP brakes “even if the rule had gone into effect.”
The ECP braking rule would’ve applied ONLY to HIGH HAZARD FLAMMABLE TRAINS. The train that derailed in East Palestine was a MIXED FREIGHT TRAIN containing only 3 placarded Class 3 flammable liquids cars. pic.twitter.com/ReAFDSdsn7
— Jennifer Homendy (@JenniferHomendy) February 17, 2023
“Members of the Biden administration themselves have likewise hesitated to implement braking rules. Federal officials said the new standards would produce costs that significantly outweigh any accrued benefits, according to a report from The Washington Post,” The Daily Wire said.
“Even beyond the issue of establishing new braking system requirements, the number of train derailments has remained relatively unchanged from approximately 1,300 annual incidents over the past decade and even declined to 1,100 annual incidents in 2020 and 2021, two and three years after the braking regulations were nixed, according to data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics,” it continued.
It would be truly mind-blowing to see a Democrat in any sort of position of power actually take responsibility for their own actions or, at the very least, not point fingers at all in a situation like this and just seek to help those being affected and work toward preventing this kind of accident from happening in the future.
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