Instead, the word is “Blame Trump!” – more of the same tired old song they have been singing since they took office.
The Trump decision to ease restrictions on brakes had NOTHING to do with this accident – it was a failure of the axle of the train. Furthermore, it appears that the workers ignored signs of problems for many miles before the derailment.
J. D. Vance, the newly elected Senator from Ohio, is all over this. It may be a cynical ploy for media attention, but it is fair to point out that Vance has long ties to the Ohio River region (nearer KY). He would be acutely aware of the need to keep the air and water clean, both for human health and safety, as well as maintaining a competitive edge in food production and industry.
For those who hadn’t seen earlier posts, the tri-state area just southeast of the accident (incidentally, where the wind patterns are sending those toxic fumes) is where the feeder waters merge into the Ohio River – which, in turn, flows into the Mississippi. Ineptitude and carelessness may have screwed up the waters that:
- Provide fresh water to MOST of the agriculture of the Midwest.
- Make the animal production in that region possible.
- Ship much of the production of the Eastern-to-Midwestern part of the USA possible.
- Provide a healthy tourist trade – scenic cruises, shipboard gambling, riverfront food and entertainment – for cities along the river’s route – Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Memphis, and New Orleans, just to mention a few.
There are other issues, but I wanted to keep this short. Why is this so important to me?
I have friends and family in this region. My dad grew up along the Ohio River valley. After the region began cleaning up the waters from the pollution of the early part of the 20th century, the economy and the quality of life also improved. This catastrophe could set them back decades.
This is not just an environmental disaster; it is a human tragedy, economic crisis, and national setback.
And, it imperils the river that is central to so much of the region. There is a reason that the state song (adopted in the year I graduated high school, 1969) is Beautiful Ohio. See the video below.