Norfolk Southern CEO's Senate Testimony Interrupted by News of Another Train Derailment
The CEO of the company whose train derailed in East Palestine, Ohio, last month appeared before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on Thursday.
Alan Shaw, the CEO of Norfolk Southern Railway, apologized for the environmental disaster in the hearing, according to CNN.
“I want to begin today by expressing how deeply sorry I am for the impact this derailment has had on the residents of East Palestine and the surrounding communities,” the executive said of the accident.
In a bizarre twist, as Shaw began his testimony, news broke of yet another train derailing.
“Mr. Shaw, the news is reporting that there’s just been a significant derailment in Alabama,” Democrat Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island informed the CEO before beginning questioning.
“I certainly hope that all of your team and anybody in the vicinity is safe and well.”
“You may need to look into that.”
Sheldon went on to skewer Shaw with pointed questions about Norfolk Southern’s safety practices, as well as its expenditures in support of lobbying against new rail safety regulations.
The new derailed train was also operated by Norfolk Southern, according to Alabama.com.
Calhoun County Sheriff Matthew Wade indicated that roughly 30 cars of a train derailed early on Thursday morning.
No injuries have been reported.
There’s no reason to believe that this train was carrying hazardous materials, as the derailed train in East Palestine was — to devastating effect.
Shaw rebuffed requests that his company compensate East Palestine homeowners who lost equity in property value as a result of the disaster in the hearing.
Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA): “A family that had a home worth $100,000 that is now worth $50,000 … will you compensate that family?”
Norfolk Southern CEO Alan Shaw: “I’m committing to do what’s right.”
Markey: “That is the right thing to do … Norfolk Southern owes these people.” pic.twitter.com/7HUKDri56m
— The Recount (@therecount) March 9, 2023
The National Transportation Safety Board announced that it was beginning an investigation into Norfolk Southern’s safety culture on Tuesday, according to Alabama.com.
Yet another Norfolk Southern train derailed over the weekend in Ohio — while carrying the hazardous substances of liquid propane and ethanol.
A spate of derailments in the wake of the East Palestine disaster has spurred a bipartisan group of senators to introduce new railroad safety legislation.
Rust Belt senators such as Ohio’s J.D Vance, Pennsylvania’s John Fetterman and Ohio’s Bob Casey are among the legislators backing the new law, according to CNN.
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