Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said Tuesday he plans to visit East Palestine, Ohio, where a train derailment disaster occurred early this month, without specifying when he would do so.
Buttigieg told George Stephanopoulos on Good Morning America that he is “planning to go” to the town, saying “our folks were on the ground” early on after the incident. The Feb. 3 derailment of the Norfolk Southern freight train carrying chemicals caused a huge fire and led to an evacuation order for 2,000 residents, according to WKBN, and Stephanopoulos had pointed out that shouts of “Where’s Pete Buttigieg?” marked a town hall meeting last week.
PETE BUTTIGIEG: “Look, I was mayor of my hometown for eight years. We dealt with a lot of disasters.” pic.twitter.com/h5NV0aKTnP
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) February 21, 2023
“I do want to stress that the NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) needs to be able to do its work independently,” Buttigieg said. “When I go, it will be about action on rail safety, like the actions that we are calling on Congress to help us with, that we are calling on industry to take and that we are undertaking ourselves as a department to help make sure that these kinds of things don’t happen in the future.”
Buttigieg sent Norfolk Southern CEO Alan Shaw a letter Sunday saying he would urge Congress to “raise the cap on fines against railroads for violating safety regulations.” (RELATED:’ Not A Good Policy’: Biden Yet To Appoint Leader To Key Transportation Agency, Despite Train Derailment Disaster)
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Regan visited East Palestine Thursday, and former President Donald Trump has revealed plans to visit Wednesday.
The Department of Transportation referred the Daily Caller News Foundation to a clip from Buttigieg’s interview with Stephanopoulos.
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