Feb 20 • 47M

Is Norfolk Southern Putting Profit Over Safety Regulations? Explaining the East Palestine, Ohio Train Derailment

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Appears in this episode

Chris Spangle
Politics is too personal for black and white thinking. Listen as regular people talk about big issues to help you understand the news to encourage you to serve the people in your life to affect change instead of seeking political solutions. Serve Your Circle. We cover news, culture, nonprofits and charity, history, libertarianism and nonviolence, faith, public policy, communication and podcasting, and more. Chris Spangle is the host of the Chris Spangle Show, History of Modern Politics, and Liberty Explained, podcasts on the We Are Libertarians network. He is also the co-host of the Patdown podcast, a comedy podcast with comedians Ms. Pat and Deon Curry. Chris Spangle has been podcasting since 2007, and now teaches podcasting at PodcastingAndPlatforms.com. He also hosts the public affairs radio show “We Thought You Might Like To Know...” on Indiana radio stations which focuses on nonprofits.
Episode details

Brian Wohlgemuth and Vaughn Spargur join me to explain the basics of the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, where a Norfolk and Southern train carrying dangerous chemicals derailed and dumped about 50 cars on the ground.

Despite the severity of the incident, the mainstream media coverage has been inadequate but has shown the power of alt media to hold mainstream media more accountable.

We discuss the concerns around the chemicals being released and the lack of trust in the EPA to handle the situation. Additionally, we touched on other pollution issues in Ohio, including Superfund sites. People are getting their testing done privately due to distrust of the EPA's testing practices, and the administration has been largely absent.

The episode also covered a New York Times article that discussed Norfolk Southern's profits and accident rates. The article revealed that the company paid shareholders nearly 18 billion dollars through stock buybacks and dividends in the past five years, twice the amount invested in railways and operations. The company neglected to invest in safety regulations, such as modern braking systems and stronger tank cars. A recent train wreck raised questions about the company's safety protocols and inspection practices, and the recent strike was partially due to safety concerns.

We also discuss the controversy surrounding a 2015 safety regulation requiring electronically controlled pneumatic brakes for certain high-hazard flammable trains carrying at least 20 consecutive cars filled with liquid liquids like crude oil. The Trump administration repealed the rule in 2018 after lobbying by the railroad industry. According to experts, this rule wouldn't have mattered with this accident.

Transcript - https://share.descript.com/view/7tZiR8OdLBx

Lysander Boomer Thread

Norfolk Southern’s Profits and Accident Rates Rose in Recent Years - https://www.nytimes.com/2023/02/17/business/energy-environment/norfolk-southern-derailment-safety.html

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