Prof. ST Hsieh
Director, US-China Energy Industry Forum
February 22, 2023
The train derailment at E. Palestine, Ohio on February 3 released harmful chemicals and caused temporary evacuation of local residents. Fortunately, there have been no causalities. The long-term impacts on public health and the environment are of concern and should be monitored.
The Biden administration’s initial response from DC is not adequate, though some retroactive actions are taking places. The root cause of this type of public safety disaster is complex, collectively multi-level government agencies are responsible and it is also an accumulation of many years of inactions on maintenance/upgrading infrastructures.
It is unfortunate that US politicians are taking advantage of such an accident by pointing fingers at the other party without offering any real solutions. They must realize that they are part of the problems and start to work on solutions.
East Palestine mayor: Biden Ukraine visit ‘biggest slap in the face’
Tue, February 21, 2023 at 6:08 AM PST
The mayor of East Palestine, Ohio, on Monday said that President Biden’s visit to Ukraine was the “biggest slap in the face” as his town continues to deal with the chemical fallout from a train derailment.
During an appearance on Fox News, East Palestine Mayor Trent Conaway was asked to give his thoughts on Biden’s surprise visit to Kyiv on Monday while he is in Poland for an international trip.
“That was the biggest slap in the face that tells you right now, he doesn’t care about us,” Conaway told host Jesse Watters. “So … he can send every agency he wants to but I found that out this morning and one of the briefings that he was in the Ukraine giving millions of dollars away to people over there, not to us and I’m furious.”
“Yeah, Presidents Day in our country. He’s … over in Ukraine,” he added. “So that tells you what kind of guy he is.”
Biden said the surprise trip was meant to show U.S. support and solidarity for Ukraine while he also announced an additional $500 million in aid to the country.
Conaway’s remarks come as prominent GOP figures in the past day have criticized Biden for neglecting domestic issues such as immigration and national security with his surprise trip to Ukraine.
“We have a lot of problems accumulating here in our own country that he is neglecting,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said during a Fox News interview, noting ongoing issues plaguing the country such as poverty, immigration and national security.
The GOP has also been critical of the Biden administration’s handling of the derailment of a Norfolk Southern train carrying toxic chemicals near the Pennsylvania state line earlier this month. The incident caused a massive fire and prompted authorities to evacuate about half of the 4,800 residents in the surrounding area.
The East Palestine Fire Department last week informed village residents that they are able to return to their homes, but cautioned them to avoid the area surrounding the railway as residents questioned whether the air and water around them is safe for people, pets and livestock in the aftermath of the incident.
In response, Norfolk Southern Railway announced it will launch a $1 million charitable fund initiative to help the East Palestine community, which included providing more than 100 air purifiers for residents to use in their homes.
Trump accuses Biden administration of ‘indifference and betrayal’ in East Palestine
Former President Donald Trump accused the Biden administration on Wednesday of “indifference and betrayal” in its response to a train derailment that spilled toxic chemicals in an Ohio town.
Speaking in East Palestine, Ohio, where the disaster occurred, Trump blasted President Biden and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), saying that the president and his administration dragged their feet on providing crucial aide in the face of an environmental disaster and its effects on the community.