SIGN NOW: Protect communities from corporate railroad greed!
A train carrying poisonous chemicals derailed in Ohio, causing a massive explosion and mass evacuations. The Lever’s reporting found that in the decades leading up to the disaster, corporate lobbyists successfully weakened safety rules for these kinds of trains carrying hazardous materials.
Get this: Those rules were so gutted, the train that released a toxic fireball wasn’t even classified as a train carrying hazardous flammable materials, and wasn’t required to use new braking systems designed to prevent derailments.
Chemical lobbyists got Obama officials to exempt trains like the one in Ohio from hazmat safety rules.
Rail lobbyists got Trump officials to repeal rules requiring better brakes on trains.
The Railroad workers union warned that these safety issues were a “ticking time bomb”--and now the people of East Palestine, OH are paying the price.
The Biden administration can do something — RIGHT NOW. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg can stand up to rail lobbyists and enact the safety rules that corporate lobbyists previously blocked to better protect us from trains carrying toxic chemicals through our towns and cities.
Up until now, Secretary Buttigieg hasn’t moved to expand train safety rules. In fact, his department is right now considering a rule promoted by railroad corporations to actually weaken train safety rules.
This is totally unacceptable, especially as an environmental and public health disaster unfolds in Ohio. Trains carrying toxic, flammable material are passing through communities every day — and lobbyists have succeeded in exempting them from tough safety laws.
The opposite must happen.
We must demand that Secretary Buttigieg immediately use his existing power to make safety rules much stronger, so that rail workers and communities across America are protected.