NTSB Chair Fact-Checks Buttigieg, Biden Admin After They Use Trump as Scapegoat for Train Derailment


It’s Trump’s fault.

The latest Democrat talking point blames former President Donald Trump for the East Palestine, Ohio, train wreck.

Trump, they claimed, wanted to help his corporate buddies so he suspended a rule requiring a more sophisticated braking system on trains carrying hazardous chemicals.

That caused the Feb. 3 Norfolk Southern Railway derailment that threw tank cars on the ground, released toxic gases and forced East Palestine-area residents to flee from their homes.

So it’s Trump’s fault, they say.

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Not so fast, said Jennifer Homenday, chair of the National Transportation Safety Board.

Trump’s suspension of requirements for electronically-controlled pneumatic brakes had nothing to do with the wreck, which NTSB has hinted as having been caused by a faulty train car bearing, she said.

Besides, even if the ECP brake rule was still in effect, it would not have applied to the ill-fated East Palestine train, according to Homenday.

So it was not Trump’s fault.

Is the Biden Administration the most incompetent in modern history?

Nice try, Pete Buttigieg. Nice try, Andrew Bates.

Buttigieg, U.S. Department of Transportation secretary, said weakening of railroad regulations occurred on Trump’s watch and that Trump should support efforts by the Biden administration to restore them, according to The Hill.

Bates, deputy White House press secretary, had told USA Today that “Congressional Republicans and former Trump Administration officials owe East Palestine an apology for selling them out to rail industry lobbyists when they dismantled Obama-Biden rail safety protections as well as EPA powers to rapidly contain spills.”

ECP brakes improve safety, but for the East Palestine accident they were not relevant, Homendy told CNN’s Jake Tapper.

“For this investigation and for this derailment, ECP brakes would not have prevented the derailment.

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“The wheel bearing failed on car number 23. So, even with ECP brakes, the derailment would have occurred, the fire would have ensued and the five vinyl chloride tank cars would still have to be vented and burned,” she said.

Also, Homendy tweeted that requirements for ECP brakes only would have been in effect for “high hazard flammable trains” and that the East Palestine train had mixed freight and only three cars placarded as containing flammable liquids.

Although the NTSB has indicated a hot bearing caused the derailment, the agency is slow and deliberate in its investigation and it will take time to produce a conclusive report.

Homendy tweeted caution against idle speculation about the accident. And she said, if you want to reach conclusions about accidents, come take a job at the NTSB.

Want to investigate? Fine — come work for us. That’s rich!  I like this lady!

And I don’t like foolish political blame games. Especially when applied to the long-suffering people of East Palestine.

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Mike Landry, PhD, is a retired business professor. He has been a journalist, broadcaster and church pastor. He writes from Northwest Arkansas on current events and business history.
Mike Landry, PhD, is a retired business professor. He has been a journalist, broadcaster and church pastor. He writes from Northwest Arkansas on current events and business history.