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Why are the billionaires always laughing?

Because they know the corporate media will never call bullshit on their bullshit.

Why are the billionaires laughing?

It’s easy to laugh when the corporate press treats you as a glorious success instead of the epitome of a broken social order. Billionaires laugh because they know the corporate media prefers to fawn over them rather than hold them to account.

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Rail cars burn near the Columbia River Gorge after a 100-car train derailed near the town of Mosier, Ore., June 3, 2016.  (Photo: U.S. Coast Guard/Petty Officer 1st Class Levi Read/flickr/cc)

'Shameless': Trump Repeals Rule Meant to Prevent Oil-Carrying 'Bomb Trains' From Derailing and Exploding

"Apparently there's no limit to the lengths the Trump administration will go to prioritize the desires of polluting industries over the health and safety of the American people."

Jessica Corbett

In a move that outraged environmentalists and increased the chances of deadly and destructive accidents, the Trump administration's Department of Transportation (DOT) has repealed an Obama-era rule that mandated safety upgrades for "dangerous" oil tanker trains to reduce the possibility of derailments, explosions, and spills.

"This commonsense rule was put in place in response to a series of deadly accidents, and this shameless decision to repeal it will mean more workers and communities are put at risk."
—Kelly Martin, Sierra Club
"This commonsense rule was put in place in response to a series of deadly accidents, and this shameless decision to repeal it will mean more workers and communities are put at risk," declared Sierra Club Beyond Dirty Fuels campaign director Kelly Martin.

The rule required trains carrying oil and other flammable materials—sometimes called "bomb trains"—to install electronically controlled pneumatic (ECP) brakes that decrease the likelihood of derailment by 2021.

While it was initially criticized by green groups that said it did not go far enough to protect communities, the Monday reversal was regarded as yet another move by the administration to appease polluters at the expense of the public.

"Apparently there's no limit to the lengths the Trump administration will go," Martin said, "to prioritize the desires of polluting industries over the health and safety of the American people."

The repeal was initially proposed in December of 2017, but finalized by the DOT's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) on Monday. PHMSA claimed that a congressionally-mandated analysis concluded "that the expected costs of requiring ECP brakes would be significantly higher than the expected benefits of the requirement." The change does not prevent railroads from using ECP brakes but the safety upgrade is no longer mandated.

"The electronically controlled brakes would have been a long-awaited safety improvement," Fred Millar, an independent consultant specializing in chemical safety and transport, told BuzzFeed News.

By repealing the safety requirement, Millar added, "the cost will be borne by the people who die or are injured or who have terrible property damage."

"About 20 derailments of trains carrying oil and ethanol that have led to spills, fires, and, in some cases, evacuations have occurred since 2010 in the U.S. and Canada," according to Fortune.

Perhaps of the most high-profile derailment in recent years occurred in Quebec in 2013. A train carrying crude oil derailed and exploded, destroying the small downtown of Lac-Mégantic and killing 47 people. Five years after the tragedy, CBC reported in July, rail safety advocates say the Canadian government also has not done enough to prevent future disasters.


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As Sinema Blocks Corporate Tax Hike, Demand Grows for Wealth Tax on Billionaires

"It seems truly unhinged to look at a country full of working people struggling to get by... and decide that it's more important to preserve low tax rates for billionaires and corporations than it is to make significant investments in our families."

Julia Conley ·


Israel Condemned for Designating Palestinian Human Rights Groups 'Terrorist Organizations'

"Labeling effective NGOs 'terrorists' is a textbook way to evade accountability for human rights violations—and an affront to everyone who cares about peace," said Rep. Ilhan Omar.

Kenny Stancil ·


House Progressives Call On Biden to Declare a Climate Emergency—Now

"Your inaction," Rep. Cori Bush warned the president, "is undermining our efforts to deliver good jobs, environmental justice, and a renewable energy future."

Jessica Corbett ·


Despite Politicians and Pundits' Claims, Twitter Finds Algorithm Favors Right-Wing Voices

"So much for Trump's claim that Twitter has an anti-conservative bias."

Brett Wilkins ·


'And Maybe More': Biden Says He's Open to Reforming Filibuster to Win Voting Rights

"It's a simple choice between a free America or one chained by the past," said one advocate. "Our democracy hangs in the balance."

Julia Conley ·

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