Your mess to clean up: Biden to Ohio rail operator
As US citizens press for action, Biden rebuffs accountability over train derailment in Ohio, blaming it all on the rail operator.
US President Joe Biden blamed rail operator, Norfolk Southern, for the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, this month that resulted in a fire and a toxic chemical spill affecting residents and wildlife for miles. But, many argue that so is Biden, as the incumbent President said the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has ordered Norfolk Southern to clean up and dispose of the hazardous materials.
"Rail companies have spent millions of dollars to oppose common-sense safety regulations. And it’s worked. This is more than a train derailment or a toxic waste spill – it’s years of opposition to safety measures coming home to roost," Biden tweeted.
Rail companies have spent millions of dollars to oppose common-sense safety regulations. And it’s worked. This is more than a train derailment or a toxic waste spill – it’s years of opposition to safety measures coming home to roost.— President Biden (@POTUS) February 21, 2023
"We'll continue to hold rail companies accountable when they fail to put safety first. But first, we’ve got Norfolk Southern’s mess to clean. I want affected residents to know that we’ve got your back," he added.
On Wednesday, company representatives were scheduled to attend a town hall meeting to answer questions from people, but they failed to appear.
“They were scared for their safety,” East Palestine Mayo Trent Conaway said, as quoted by local media outlets.
Read more: Biden busy with Eastern Europe amid Ohio catastrophe
Biden's remarks come as former President Donald Trump prepares to visit East Palestine and meet with residents on Wednesday.
Residents and political leaders have strongly criticized Norfolk Southern's CEO for his lack of engagement following the February 3 derailment of a train carrying hazardous chemicals.
Residents affirmed suffering from recent health effects such as headaches, burning skin, and irritated eyes, as well as anxiety about long-term health hazards such as cancer, despite repeated assurances that the air and water are safe, Sputnik reported.
Despite being described as one of the worst ecological disasters to hit the #US, the train derailment in #Ohio isn't getting enough media coverage. Instead, suspected #UFOs are getting all the attention. pic.twitter.com/cRgZ19FyTF— Al Mayadeen English (@MayadeenEnglish) February 15, 2023
Many US officials criticized the administration's response, urging Biden to present a detailed picture of the damage and a comprehensive plan to ensure the community is supported, and this sort of catastrophe never happens again. However, Biden is playing the blame game.
Earlier today, member of the main council of Zaporozhye's military-civilian administration, Vladimir Rogov, said Biden's priorities as US president are not American citizens, but his own political interests.
"Biden did not travel to Ohio, where an environmental disaster occurred, at the time when he should be with the American people, but rather decided to visit Kiev and preferred a hug with Zelenskyy," Rogov added.
Read next: Zakharova: US actively covering up Ohio catastrophe