Facts over Fear: Who gets hurt the most when politics go from dirty to toxic?

Produced By: - September 14, 2023 9:27 pm

I’ve been thinking a lot about the people in East Palestine Ohio, and the neighboring communities here in Pennsylvania, ever since the train derailment last February.

So has Pennsylvania U.S. Rep. Chris Deluzio, D-17th District, who along with a Republican counterpart, introduced a railroad safety bill in Congress. There’s a companion bill in the Senate.

The bills were brought up months ago.

And guess where they’ve gone? Nowhere. That’s where.

Both the House and Senate bills would increase fines for safety violations and require more inspections.

The Senate bill would also require most freight trains have two-person crews. Rail companies are against that two-person requirement. Why? Maybe because it would cost them money.

But the industry is perfectly comfortable spending money— a lot of money — lobbying  Congress. In the first three months of 2023, railroad groups spent more than $7 million on lobbying.

I’d really like to ask Sen. John Thune, of South Dakota, who is a high ranking Republican, why he is against the bills and is concerned about the “cost of regulation” on railroads.

Maybe it’s because he used to be — wait for it — a lobbyist for the railway industry.

Look.. until we limit the power of lobbyists in lawmaking we will never put the people first, whether they live in East Palestine, Ohio or just over the line in Pennsylvania.

And that my friends is a fact.

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Natalie Bencivenga
Natalie Bencivenga

Natalie Bencivenga is a socially conscious journalist and hosts a weekly show on KDKA radio in Pittsburgh. Follow her on Instagram at NatalieBencivenga.


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