Why Is Joe Biden Doing WAR To Poor East Palestine, Ohio?
Drone video screenshot, WKYC-TV on YouTube

The US Environmental Protection Agency today ordered the Norfolk Southern Railway to get its caboose to work performing the environmental cleanup of the February 3 train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, that led to contamination of soil and water near the crash site. The legally binding order requires the railroad to

Identify and clean up contaminated soil and water resources.

Reimburse EPA for cleaning services to be offered to residents and businesses to provide an additional layer of reassurance, which will be conducted by EPA staff and contractors.

Attend and participate in public meetings at EPA’s request and post information online.

Pay for EPA’s costs for work performed under this order.

The EPA also said that if the railroad fails to take any required cleanup actions, the agency will "immediately step in, conduct the necessary work, and then seek to compel Norfolk Southern to pay triple the cost."

That's pretty good ordering, we'd say. EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan said in the press statement that the order will "ensure the company is held accountable for jeopardizing the health and safety of this community," and added, "Let me be clear: Norfolk Southern will pay for cleaning up the mess they created and for the trauma they’ve inflicted on this community. [...] In no way, shape or form will Norfolk Southern get off the hook for the mess that they created." Good.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine last week declined to declare East Palestine a disaster area, largely because, as DeWine's spokesperson Dan Tierney explained,

under federal law, FEMA assists disaster-stricken communities pay for property damage not covered by insurance or another entity.

Tierney says that the derailment did not cause major property damage in the village, and so far, Norfolk Southern has been paying for environmental testing and other needs like bottled water.

According to Tierney, DeWine will revisit the idea of a disaster declaration if circumstances change that would make the area eligible for other federal aid.

The White House issued a fact sheet Friday detailing the aid that DeWine has requested and that the administration has provided, including public health and environmental assistance.

The order comes as rightwing dipshits have decided that they finally care about the environment, since this train wreck occurred with a Democrat in the White House. Fox News and other rightwing media have been pushing a gross conspiracy theory that Joe Biden is deliberately letting the people of East Palestine suffer, because after all it's a mostly white town. Strangely, none of the rightwing figures like Tucker Carlson or Charlie Kirk claimed that Donald Trump was trying to exterminate white people when he eliminated railroad safety regulations that may have prevented the derailment or reduced its severity. As the Washington Post notes (gift link):

“East Palestine is overwhelmingly White, and it’s politically conservative,” Fox News’s Tucker Carlson recently said of the roughly 4,700 residents of the disaster zone. “That shouldn’t be relevant,” he added, but “it very much is.”

That rather misses the fact that Democrats were behind the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act, both of which include funding for environmental cleanup and green jobs that will help small towns and rural areas that have generally been left behind under Republican administrations.

Carlson also subtly hinted — if you know what he means, and why is your dog suddenly howling? — that if the accident had happened in Philadelphia or Detroit, well then it would have been cleaned up faster than you can say "replacement theory." Just never mind the fact that anyone covering environmental issues knows damn well that poor communities, and especially poor minority communities, already have far more pollution than any any others. "Cancer Alley" in Louisiana is an especially toxic example — literally.

East Palestine Mayor Trent Conaway (R) took the opportunity Monday to play into the grievance game, saying that President Joe Biden's trip to Ukraine — a surprise addition to a long-planned trip to Warsaw — was "the biggest slap in the face" to East Palestine, because

that tells you right now, he doesn’t care about us,” Conaway told host Jesse Watters. “So … he can send every agency he wants to but I found that out this morning and one of the briefings that he was in the Ukraine giving millions of dollars away to people over there, not to us and I’m furious.”

“Yeah, Presidents Day in our country. He’s … over in Ukraine,” he added. “So that tells you what kind of guy he is.”

Not that it would matter much to the Right, but the Poland trip was announced on February 10, which means that the negotiations and planning would have been well before the train derailment. Also, we have no idea what the mayor of East Palestine would do with advanced antiaircraft missile systems, anyway.

The winner of the prize for stupidest thoughts on Joe Biden's alleged neglect of East Palestine goes to Donald Trump Jr., who suggested yesterday that maybe Russia has been causing train derailments in the USA as a response to Joe Biden's warmongering in Ukraine. This is at least the third time he's floated the evidence-free claim that Russia is sabotaging America's infrastructure, which his daddy never managed to do anything to fix.

"We've had derailment after train derailment, with environmental disasters, no one asking if it's Russia retaliating after the article came out about us possibly attacking the Nordstream 2 pipeline, and they don't care."

Newsweek explained that the failson was referring to a February 8 Seymour Hersh blog post alleging the US had destroyed the undersea methane gas pipeline, according to an unidentified source.

Heck, we bet the National Transportation Safety Board will find completely non-sabotage causes for the derailments, proving that it's in on the plot too.


[CNN / WaPo (gift link) / WFMJ / White House / Newsweek]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.


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