This is regarding the Opinion Page cartoon on Saturday, March 4, attacking Pete Buttigieg for not dealing with the Norfolk Southern train derailment fast enough. I think it's important that we correct misinformation as soon as we can, and I would like to refer readers to the February 25th online issue of "Letters from an American", a newsletter about the history behind today's politics (with over 1,000,000 subscribers), by Heather Cox Richardson.
She makes two points--one, briefly, the NTSB, the agency responsible for responding to such events, "responded immediately and, the following afternoon, held a press conference" explaining what it was doing. Nine NTSB investigators and four lab engineers, the EPA and the Dept. of Transportation, were involved by Feb. 25.
And two, the NTSB is not part of the Department of Transportation. Which provoked this response from Pete Buttigieg on receiving the letter of criticism from 21 extremist Congressional Republicans: “I am alarmed to learn that the Chair of the House Oversight Committee thinks that the NTSB is part of our Department. NTSB is independent (and with good reason). Still, of course, we will fully review this and respond appropriately.”
Bottom line: "Either 21 Republican lawmakers charged with oversight of our government don't know how the government works and didn't care to find out or they are deliberately misleading their loyalists."
Publisher’s note: the letter writer cites Heather Cox Richardson who is a professor and author who writes on Substack which we do not fact check, particularly with regard to national issues. The Wenatchee World uses Newsguard as part of our sourcing of authoritative news sites.
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