Trump Blamed for Environmental Catastrophe

Michael Vadon, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

( – Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has in part alleged that the Trump administration was to blame for the derailment of the train in Ohio because of their reversal of a safety rule.

On Tuesday, Buttigieg claimed that his agency was examining all the possible ways to further improve rail safety using the “historic investments” passed by the Biden administration. However, he argued that due to the Trump administration’s actions, they were constrained in the actions they could take.

Buttigieg noted Tuesday evening that his agency had taken a series of steps to improve rail safety through “historic investments,” but said it was constrained by the Trump administration action. In 2018, the Department of Transportation (DOT) withdrew a proposed rule that would have required all trains transporting dangerous chemicals to have electronically controlled pneumatic (ECP) brakes. At the time they withdrew the proposal saying that the effects of these brakes were not yet established.

In a tweet, Buttigieg said that following the derailment of the train carrying toxic chemicals and the impact that it had on the residents of East Palestine, they are going to be looking into what further steps they can take to ensure rail safety.

He added that there are certain things that are constrained by the law, such as the Trump administration’s withdrawal of the brake rules, because of a Congress law from 2015. However, he noted that they would try everything possible in order to “address rail safety issues.”

On Feb. 3, a Norfolk Southern Railroad train carrying vinyl chloride, a dangerous colorless gas, derailed in Columbiana County, Ohio. Following the derailment, Norfolk Southern chose to release the gas from the cars as a way of stopping possible explosions. However, that decision might have meant that potentially deadly fumes would be released into the air.

The Environmental Protection Agency, Norfolk Southern and Ohio officials have all monitored the air and have determined that it is currently safe to breathe. However, that has not eased the concerns of many locals and environmental experts.

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