Fact Check: Pete Buttigieg Blames Trump for Ohio Train Disaster
Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at the New Hampshire Republican State Committee’s Annual Meeting on January 28, 2023, in Salem, New Hampshire. (Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images)
CLAIM: U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg is blaming former President Donald Trump for the train disaster in East Palestine, Ohio, claiming, “we’re constrained by law on some areas of rail regulation,” and citing a “braking rule” that was withdrawn under the Trump administration.
While it is true that in 2018 the Department of Transportation (DOT) withdrew a proposed rule requiring trains carrying certain dangerous chemicals to use electronically controlled pneumatic (ECP) brakes, this rule would not have applied to the train that derailed in East Palestine on February 3.
In addressing the train derailment on Tuesday, Buttigieg claimed, “We’re constrained by law on some areas of rail regulation,” and cited “the braking rule withdrawn by the Trump administration in 2018 because of a law passed by Congress in 2015.”
Buttigieg’s assertion, however, is incorrect.
National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Chair Jennifer Homendy announced on Thursday that if this particular rule were to have gone into effect, the mandate would have applied only to trains classified as high-hazard flammable trains.
“This means even if the rule had gone into effect, this train wouldn’t have had ECP brakes,” Homendy said, and she suggested that anyone who says otherwise is “spreading misinformation.”
On Thursday, Norfolk Southern corroborated Homendy’s comments, telling Breitbart News that the train in question “was not considered a high-hazard flammable train.”
Therefore, the braking rule cited by Buttigieg would not have applied to the train operated by Norfolk Southern that derailed in East Palestine earlier this month.
What is more, Buttigieg has been the Transportation Secretary for two years now. So if he is, in fact, worried about alleged constraints regarding areas of rail regulation, he has had time to address these concerns.
Instead, Buttigieg appears to be prioritizing other issues.
On Monday, he suggested there are too many white people working in construction and urged attendees of the National Association of Counties Conference to “really work with organized labor, to work with your contractors, to work with your community colleges on holding a workforce that reflects the community.”
During a visit to East Palestine on Thursday, Senator J.D. Vance (R-OH) told Fox News that the Biden administration should “stop blaming Donald Trump” for the train disaster in Ohio.
“I haven’t spoken to President Biden. My message to him is pretty simple. One, the Department of Transportation, your Department of Transportation, has things they can do,” Vance said. “Stop blaming Donald Trump, a guy who hasn’t been president for three years, and use the powers of the federal government to do the things necessary to help the people in this community.”
You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.
Originally Posted at : www.breitbart.com