US taxpayers footing bill for Norfolk Southern train derailment east of Palestine


American taxpayers are already footing the bill for the deadly train derailment east of Ohio’s Norfolk Southern in Palestine, Sen. J.D. Vance (R-OH) said.

Last month, a Norfolk Southern train derailed in eastern Palestine, which has a population of fewer than 5,000, leaking chemicals into the community’s environment. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources estimates that more than 43,000 fish and other aquatic animals were killed as a result.

In an exclusive interview with SiriusXM Patriot’s Breitbart News SaturdayVance told Breitbart News Washington bureau chief Matt Boyle that it is more important for the Republican Party to protect the interests of the people of eastern Palestine than the railroad industry, which is trying to avoid a relationship crisis. and strict federal oversight.


“We cannot forget these people … this city is not being cleaned up on schedule and it’s a catastrophic failure of the government, a catastrophic failure of every institution in our country that is supposed to care for vulnerable people … They didn’t do it. I’m not asking for it, it happened to them and they deserve to be treated,” Vance said.

In particular, Vance noted that American taxpayers would pay for such a disaster caused by Norfolk Southern, a powerful railroad company that has a lot of influence in Washington.

“We talk about chemical spills, but there are all these effects,” Vance said. “There are farmers who cannot sell their grass or their eggs because they fear that East Palestine is too polluted. There are small businesses that are completely hemorrhaging.

“Think about what happened during COVID, but now it’s just a small town where everything is on lockdown … there are people who still can’t go home,” Vance continued. “A lot of it goes to the American taxpayer through higher welfare payments, people who lose the value of their homes … so if it’s going to go to the American taxpayer, why should we allow a company to socialize that risk?”

US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works

Vance, with feeling. Josh Hawley (R-MO), Marco Rubio (R-FL), John Fetterman (D-PA), Bob Casey (D-PA) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) have introduced legislation that would increase fines for railroad companies. causing similar problems in local communities.

Republicans, Vance said, should advocate for protecting their constituents from big business like Norfolk Southern instead of representing the corporate interests that have the most influence in the United States.

“When you cause trouble, you have to pay for it,” Vance said of Norfolk Southern. “Unfortunately, for this type of disaster, the American taxpayer pays for most of it. Like it or not, that’s how our current system works.

“When people are sick, I think one of the primary functions of the Republican Party should be to make sure they get treatment,” he continued. “It’s something we have to rise above Norfolk Southern. Again, I have nothing against the company, but they created this problem and we need to make sure they do the right thing for the people of eastern Palestine.

“We’re not trying to create a regulatory regime here, but we want train (companies) to pay when they cause these problems, and I think that’s very fair and appropriate,” Vance said. .

Alana Mastrangelo / Breitbart News

Vance’s legislation also requires rail companies to notify local firefighters and other first responders when hazardous chemicals pass through communities.

“…the most important thing it does is give our firefighters the proper notice,” Vance said of his legislation. “What happened in East Palestine… will continue because you have train accidents with dangerous chemicals and these firefighters don’t know what’s going on (the trains) because the train companies don’t have to notify the local authorities properly. what is going on.

“Our legislation is going to change that, and I’ve heard from some of the GOP establishment types that it’s kind of a violation of the free market,” Vance said. “These railroads have been in bed with big government in many ways, but recently, three months ago, they were taken out by the federal government, Joe Biden and others. entered and settled. there was a railroad workers’ union issue.

“You can’t say it’s a free market when you sleep with big government and ask for big government benefits,” he continued. “…The former GOP has a saying that if you do anything about business, it’s a violation of Republican principles, but they need to wake up and realize we’re dumb. It’s the firemen and police who are responding to these accidents, not the big railroad companies that are in league with the government and causing them.

Oil-based chemicals from Leslie Run Creek float to the surface of the water after mixing with river bottom sediments after a train derailed in East Palestine, Ohio, on February 20, 2023. (Michael Swensen/Getty Images)

US taxpayers footing bill for Norfolk Southern train derailment east of Palestine

The local Proud Boys chapter distributes water, food and cleaning supplies to residents of East Palestine on February 25, 2023 in East Palestine, Ohio. (Michael Swensen/Getty Images)

US taxpayers footing bill for Norfolk Southern train derailment east of Palestine

In East Palestine, Ohio, USA, Thursday, February 23, 2022. (Matthew Hatcher/Bloomberg via Getty Images) Residents gather to pray after a train derailed in East Palestine.

US taxpayers footing bill for Norfolk Southern train derailment east of Palestine

Residents of East Palestine voiced their concerns on February 23, 2023 at a town hall meeting organized by River Valley Organizing, an East Liverpool, Ohio-based non-profit organization in East Palestine, Ohio. (Michael Swensen/Getty Images)

US taxpayers footing bill for Norfolk Southern train derailment east of Palestine

Wade Lovett, 40, poses for a portrait along Leslie Run Creek on February 22, 2023 in East Palestine, Ohio. Lovett was working at Rollerena Auto Sales when a Southern train derailed in Norfolk on Feb. 3, causing 38 of the approximately 150 carriages to collapse and the hazardous materials carriages to catch fire. While the train was on fire, Lovett says it continued to operate until residents and businesses were forced to evacuate. (Michael Swensen/Getty Images)

The disaster in eastern Palestine is partly a failure of President Joe Biden’s administration, Vance said, noting that even when former President Trump visited the small town weeks after the derailment, the president refused to visit the community’s residents.

“There are thousands of tons of toxic pollution in East Palestine right now,” Vance said. “So the chemicals from the train derailment seeped into the ground, so we have to dig it out. You have contaminated soil and you take it to appropriate facilities and dispose of it. Do you know why there are piles of toxic soil in the land of East Palestine? Because the Joe Biden administration is making it harder to get these things to proper disposal sites.

“I’m not making this up. If you go to eastern Palestine, you’ll see these mounds of dirt right now,” Vance continued. “You have people who are afraid of air and water quality. 36 days later, their city still hasn’t been cleaned up due to the leadership failures of the Biden administration.

“Because of that, they’re going to have long-term economic consequences,” Vance said. “If a chemical cloud goes up in your town of 5,000 people, think what would happen to home values, property values, people’s mortgages, small businesses. The impact will be significant and we cannot ignore it.

As Breitbart News has detailed, Norfolk Southern’s influence in Washington is broad across Republicans and Democrats.

Last year, Norfolk Southern-affiliated Political Action Committees (PACs) gave nearly $1 million to Republicans and Democrats, as well as bipartisan organizations such as the Democratic Senate Committee, the Democratic Congressional Caucus, and the Republican National Senate Committee. , and the Congressional Republican National Committee.

South Norfolk PAC has also given directly to the senses. Kathy Britt (R-AL), Tim Scott (R-SC), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Todd Young (R-IN), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Jerry Moran (R-KS), John Boozman (R-KS), Patty Murray (D-WA), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), John Hoven (R-ND), Mike Lee (R-UT), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Ron Johnson (R .-WI), Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), John Thune (R-SD), Rand Paul (R-KY), Richard Burr (R- NC) ), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Eric Schmitt (R-MO), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Joe Manchin (D- WV), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA).

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at Follow him on Twitter Here.

All news on the site does not represent the views of the site, but we automatically submit this news and translate it using software technology on the site, rather than a human editor.

Leave A Reply