Pete Buttigieg,

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg seized the opportunity to focus on a very different train story this week, instead of the terrible East Palestine, Ohio, train story that’s preoccupied him lately.

Buttigieg retweeted an article reporting a $220M investment by Siemens AG to build a North Carolina rail car factory, which means, as Buttigieg boasts, “Better passenger train service, riding on new trains built by American workers.”

Siemens counts “Amtrak and dozens of transit agencies across the United States” as customers, Reuters reports.

Better passenger train service, riding on new trains built by American workers.

— Secretary Pete Buttigieg (@SecretaryPete) March 10, 2023

Buttigieg was memorably thrust into the spotlight last month after the tragic toxic train wreck in East Palestine, quickly becoming a political lightning rod as the media and various politicians cast about for parties to blame, Ohio.

MAGA firebrands like Marjorie Taylor Greene criticized Buttigieg for not immediately going personally to East Palestine, as she sought to portray an alleged neglect as symptomatic of an elite class not caring enough for the working class. (Note: the Republican governor of Ohio said from the start that his state was receiving the support it needed from the federal government concerning the accident.)

Buttigieg explained his delay in visiting as the proper execution of protocol, maintaining that he needed to allow the National Transportation Safety Board — independent of his auspices — complete its initial investigation before he visited the scene.

USDOT will hold Norfolk Southern accountable for any safety violations found to have contributed to the disaster that has upended lives in East Palestine, OH.

We respect the independence of NTSB’s investigation, and its findings will inform all of our actions going forward.

— Secretary Pete Buttigieg (@SecretaryPete) February 17, 2023

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Pete Buttigieg Seizes Chance To Tell Very Different Train Story

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