Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH) has called on Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to make the trip down to attend a town hall this coming Wednesday night regarding the train derailment incident which took place in East Palestine, Ohio, claiming that the officials have not yet taken to time to hear the concerns of those that have been most heavily hurt by the horrendous ecological disaster.
Both state and local authorities called for the evacuation of all residents situated within a mile radius of the crash and initiated a controlled burn of the highly volatile and corrosive chemicals in order to mitigate the chance of an explosion. Known to be a carcinogen used in the making of PVC piping, vinyl chloride was leaked out of a group of five train cars this past week in the form of large pillars of dark acrid smoke which were massive enough to be spotted all throughout eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania.
Johnson, whose district covers the area of East Palestine, issued a recommendation to Buttigieg that he should take part in this town hall in which the townspeople are expecting to hear news from officials regarding the disaster. “I’ll save a seat for you,” he stated to the former Democratic presidential contender via a post to social media. “It’s past time you hear the concerns of residents affected by the train derailment.”
Other legislators such as Sen. J.D. Vance (R-OH) have stated that the residents of East Palestine are the direct victims of the extremely mismanaged priorities of people in power such as Buttigieg, who outright failed to address the train crash for well over a week after it occurred. He nevertheless made an appearance to attend the National Association of Counties Conference on Monday to speak on issues such as racial equity in the construction sector.
“We have had hundreds of train derailments after we spent over $1 trillion on infrastructure in this country, so the fact that this isn’t getting obviously better is a major indictment of the people spending the money and what they’re spending the money on,” Vance commented as part of an interview with Tucker Carlon, a host with Fox News. “Now we know, if you listen to Secretary Buttigieg today, that they are focused more on whether we have too many white men in construction jobs than he is on the fundamentals of his job, which is ensuring we have a viable transportation infrastructure in this country.”
Governor Josh Shapiro (D-PA) has since revealed that Norfolk Grumman issued very opaque information to the emergency responders; the company allegedly “failed to explore all potential courses of action, including some that may have kept the rail line closed longer but could have resulted in a safer overall approach for first responders, residents, and the environment.”