You are here

East Palestine, Ohio And The Oligarchy

Margaret Kimberley

On February 3, 2023 a 150-car Norfolk Southern freight train derailed in East Palestine, Ohio near the Pennsylvania border. Twenty of those cars were carrying chemicals such as vinyl chloride, butyl acrylate, ethylene glycol, isobutylene, and ethylhexyl acrylate. One doesn’t need to be a scientist to figure out that none of these should be in the air or water.  Despite photographic and video evidence of an environmental catastrophe, the accident initially received little media attention. Pete Buttigieg is Secretary of the Department of Transportation (DOT), and is responsible for overseeing railroad safety. But he has made it clear that he follows his boss’s dictate to change nothing that would upset their oligarchic bosses. It took Buttigieg three weeks to show up in East Palestine and he only did so after Donald Trump visited. The back and forth over freight train regulations isn’t complicated. Trump undid regulations that Obama enacted but Biden didn’t undo what Trump had done.