OHIO RISING: Locals RAGE After Buttigieg, Rail Company Skip Town Hall Meeting
Federal and corporate cowardice at its most negligent.
With reports of local wildlife and livestock perishing unexpectedly, residents of East Palestine, Ohio are demanding, (and deserving of), answers.
Two weeks ago, a Norfolk Southern train derailed in the small town, immediately posing a major ecological risk due to the contents of the carrier cars. Of particular note was vinyl chloride – a toxic chemical used in the making of PVC. With the hazardous material potentially at risk for an uncontrolled explosion, authorities decided instead to hold a controlled explosion, the logic of which some residents are still vociferously pondering.
Hoping for answers as to what’s next for their community, locals flocked to a town hall meeting earlier this week, but were later enraged to discover who was, and wasn’t in attendance.
Voicing their concerns at a town hall on Wednesday night, Ohio residents impacted by this month’s toxic train derailment asked where Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg was.
“Where’s Pete Buttigieg? Where’s he at?” one man asked Mayor Trent Conaway.
“I don’t know. Your guess is as good as me,” the mayor replied.
And, to add to the incredulous sentiment:
He told attendees that Tuesday was the first time he had “heard anything from the White House.”
Worse still, it appeared as though the Transportation Secretary was attempting to shift the blame for the incident to the previous administration.
Buttigieg had tweeted on Tuesday that the department was “constrained by law on some areas of rail regulation (like the braking rule withdrawn by the Trump administration in 2018 because of a law passed by Congress in 2015), but we are using the powers we do have to keep people safe.”
As for Norfolk Southern, their excuse for not attending the rather significant meeting was rather flimsy.
Norfolk Southern will not be at tonight's community meeting in East Palestine, Ohio. They say they have become "increasingly concerned about the growing physical threat to our employees."
They say they are committed to the community through their Family Assistance Center.
— Brian Entin (@BrianEntin) February 15, 2023
Corporate cowardice is something that Americans don’t often tolerate for long, and there is no doubt that the company will be dragged in front of the East Palestine people soon enough.
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