No one does fearmongering quite like Washington.
Progressive lawmakers in our nation's capital are constantly screaming about the horrors of CO2 and methane. They find gas and oil environmental boogeymen under every bed and in every closet when it comes to gas and oil.
Yet when it comes to releasing tons of actual hazardous chemicals—vinyl chloride, ethylhexyl acrylate, and ethylene glycol, to be precise—over entire regions under the plume of an actual mushroom cloud (by virtue of a so-called controlled release), what do our leaders have to say?
Well, basically, that there is nothing to see here. We are monitoring the situation and so far, all is good.
Under the best of situations, we would all be well off to be skeptical of Washington bureaucrats telling us that we need not worry about the massive burning chemical plume of toxins rising above our neighborhoods, but these are not normal times.
We are faced with an administration that tells us the sky is falling every day. They tell us that we are going to drown in rising seas and that nearly every storm is because of our insistence on burning gas and oil.
Instinctively, we know that this is hyperbole at best and a lie at worst.
When they start telling us that they are coming for our gas stoves because of some alleged environmental impact made up by Washington bureaucrats, it's time for everyone to take notice as a general rule.
And this all after we experienced the lies, misdirections and sketchy proclamations surrounding COVID. Americans don’t know what or who to believe anymore.
This dynamic of mistrusting our government leaders, however, goes from frustrating to downright dangerous when confronted with an actual environmental disaster like what’s unfolding over East Palestine.
These situations are bad enough in their own right. Central to getting through them in as close to one piece as possible is being able to trust that our political leaders are trustworthy and know what they are talking about.
Yet here we are.
And the sad part is that once they do start to engage, rest assured that they will care far more about advancing their agenda and protecting themselves than doing what’s right for the people directly affected.
That’s why moving forward here is what should matter.
We must recognize that society needs to transport all sorts of consumer and industrial goods, sometimes over long distances and transportation does come with some risk. Thus, our goal should be to mitigate and reduce those risks.
That means ensuring that industry has as many transportation options available as possible. This allows them to maximize safety based on the particulars of their activities. Unfortunately, the Biden administration (and the left) work to minimize those options, like stopping pipelines, for developing the safest transportation methods available.
We cannot ignore this accident, but it should be done with sober mind and focus on the accident and the relevant factors. It must not be overtaken by a larger political agenda, as so often happens. Doing so does nothing to make transportation safer or to better meet the critical needs of American to transport consumer and industrial goods in the economical and safest ways possible.
Thus, we must avoid conflating the facts and circumstances of this accident with other industrial and consumer practices. We must be honest about the damage and threat caused by this accident but not ascribe what happened in Ohio to conditions on a broader scale.
Perhaps most importantly, we must find out what happened, who was at fault and hold them accountable.
One of the best ways to ensure that such accidents are minimized moving forward is to ensure that those responsible are held liable. A full investigation should take place to identify where and with whom fault lies and all parties should be held fully accountable—civilly for sure, and criminally, if appropriate.
What is happening in Ohio is unacceptable. How our leaders are responding is unacceptable. And the environment of mistrust they’ve created is unacceptable.
Unfortunately, it's also all so predictable.
This piece originally appeared in Fox News