In the wake of a train derailment that exposed residents of East Palestine, Ohio, to toxic chemicals, critics of the Biden administration lamented the slow and seemingly insufficient response of federal agencies.
Of course, leftists eager to shield the Democratic Party from mounting backlash sought to place the blame elsewhere — including “The View” co-host Joy Behar’s on-air implication that the Americans most at risk from exposure to the leaked material were at fault because many of them voted for former President Donald Trump.
More recently, a group of climate alarmists with deep ties to the mainstream media pointed a finger at the petroleum industry and, more specifically, the nation’s “demand” for petroleum-based products like the vinyl chloride being transported in the train that derailed last month.
Covering Climate Now made its case by promoting a recent blog post that notably omitted any suggestion that Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg or any other Biden administration official might bear some responsibility for the flubbed response to the disaster.
The clearly one-sided assessment drew some pointed responses from some current and former government officials.
Great explainer thread from @emorwee about the disaster in East Palestine and the toxicity of the chemicals used to make plastics. As she notes, "it’s so important for the rest of news media to be connecting this disaster to petroleum-based plastics." https://t.co/Q4nVylpqGo
— Covering Climate Now (@CoveringClimate) February 22, 2023
In a statement to Breitbart News, one Trump administration source suggested that the current approach appears to be in line with former President Barack Obama’s one-time chief of staff Rahm Emmanuel’s infamous advice to never let a crisis go to waste.
“That’s what the left is trying to do here — deflect blame from the president’s and transportation secretary’s incompetent response and attack the petrochemical industry that they despise,” the individual explained. “It’s disgusting, but it’s what they do.”
A former national security official offered a similar take, noting that the U.S. “has an unrivaled capacity to produce petrochemicals that are a vital part of every person’s life” and the left has long been on a mission to interrupt those capabilities.
“If they can use an incident like this to spread lies about an industry they hate, they’ve shown they’ll do it, whether or not it undermines our national security,” the source concluded.
Even some prominent climate activists have expressed views that run contrary to the partisan talking points used in the aforementioned blog post.
The Climate Corporation founder David Friedberg acknowledged just days after the derailment that transporting vinyl chloride and other related chemicals “is a key part of what makes the economy work, it drives a lot of industry, it gives us all access to products and things that matter in our lives.”