Locals impacted by the recent train derailment in Ohio, which released toxic chemicals into the air and water, are not pleased by the lack of involvement by Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, so much so that some residents made that abundantly clear during a recent town hall.
“Where’s Pete Buttigieg?” One resident asked East Palestine Mayor Trent Conaway. “Where’s he at?”
“I don’t know,” replied Conaway, “Your guess is as good as me.”
Mayor Conaway also let it spill that the first time he had heard anything from the White House was this Tuesday, weeks after the catastrophic derailment occurred.
Residents ask the Mayor of East Palestine, Ohio, ‘Where’s Pete Buttigieg?’
MAYOR CONAWAY: I don’t know. Your guess is as good as me. Yesterday was the first time I heard ANYTHING from the White House.” pic.twitter.com/AlKG7mncwP
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) February 16, 2023
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Seriously, Where is Buttigieg?
Yesterday, Senators Marco Rubio and J.D. Vance co-wrote a letter requesting a summary of efforts done by the Department of Transportation in response to the situation.
Thus far the only recent piece of information the public has received from Buttigieg was a tweet sent out Tuesday night, stating that his department is “constrained by law on some areas of rail regulation (like the braking rule withdrawn by the Trump administration in 2018 because of a law passed by Congress in 2015), but we are using the powers we do have to keep people safe.”
Later on Wednesday, he responded to a Twitter exchange between Senator Ted Cruz and Representative Ilhan Omar, both demanding a “congressional inquiry and direct action” from Buttigieg.
He responded by reposting the comments, adding “Glad to see newfound bipartisan agreement here. We could start by discussing immediate steps Congress could take to address rail safety & reduce constraints on USDOT in this area. Give us a call, we can do some good work.”
That’s the thing though, people are reaching out, in fact many important people continue to reach out yet Buttigieg has only seemed concerned with the number of white responders to the scene of the derailment.
Michael Regan, the administrator for the EPA, has responded frequently in regards to the situation in Ohio, and currently plans to visit East Palestine. Buttigieg’s response to that? Simply retweeting Regan’s video announcement; no announcements of his own to join Regan in his visit or to plan his own.
In response to an inquiry by Fox News Digital today, the Department of Transportation stated that the National Transportation Safety Board is currently the lead investigator regarding the incident in Ohio, while they are only in a “supporting role.”
What happened in East Palestine, Ohio is unacceptable.
And yet, Biden’s Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg has been nowhere to be found. pic.twitter.com/OYeVMA4LQC
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) February 16, 2023
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Calls to Resign
Many critics have called on Buttigieg to step down, claiming that this event is just one of many of examples of his inability to respond like a leader.
Tudor Dixon, former candidate for governor of Michigan and someone with experience in industrial manufacturing, tweeted “Pete Buttigieg is a complete failure as transportation secretary and the latest derailment in Michigan is all the more reason he is unfit to serve.”
Dixon was referring to a derailment outside Detroit which occurred today. Reports indicate that this train could also have been transporting toxic chemicals as well.
The editorial board of the Washington Examiner has also publicly called for Buttigieg’s resignation.
“Buttigieg is notorious for wasting taxpayers’ time on fatuities such as ‘racist roads’ and gender-inclusive pronouns while transportation infrastructure falls apart,” the editorial stated. “A hyper ambitious politician with almost no useful experience, he is desperate to shore up his frayed relations with black Democratic voters, the result of his racially divisive tenure as mayor of South Bend, Indiana.”
“If Buttigieg is serious about ‘equity,’” the piece continued, “he should resign and ask President Joe Biden to replace him with a black nominee. We are not keen on tokenism, but such a move would at least give the nation a better chance of competence at the DOT.”
Pete Buttigieg is a complete failure as transportation secretary and the latest derailment in Michigan is all the more reason he is unfit to serve. pic.twitter.com/pTHwfa7vgD
— Tudor Dixon (@TudorDixon) February 16, 2023
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