The Ohio train derailment 'blame game'

The sharpest opinions on the debate from around the web

Derailed train.
(Image credit: Illustrated | Gettyimages)

The derailment of a Norfolk Southern train in East Palestine, Ohio, early this month spilled toxic chemicals into a river, and touched off a political battle in Washington. Potentially dangerous pollution got into the air when rail officials released and burned more chemicals to prevent an explosion, leaving residents in fear for their health. Republicans and conservative media accused Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg of responding too slowly, using "images of the Feb. 3 wreck — including the flames, plumes of black smoke, and piles of dead fish — to lambaste his oversight of rail safety," Politico said. Buttigieg acknowledged he "could have spoken sooner about how strongly I felt about this incident," and visited the scene Thursday to talk with community members and local leaders.

Former President Donald Trump visited East Palestine Wednesday, beating Buttigieg to the site by a day. Trump, now running for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, passed out Trump-branded drinking water in a nod to community concerns about the safety of the water supply, and accused the Biden administration of "indifference and betrayal" of the people affected by the accident. Democrats seized on Trump's visit to argue that he shared blame for the disaster, saying he and his fellow Republicans loosened regulations on railway safety, and made it harder for the federal government to respond to chemical spills. Is there any merit in all this partisan finger-pointing?

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.

SUBSCRIBE & SAVE
https://cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net/flexiimages/jacafc5zvs1692883516.jpg

Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up
To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us