Mayor Pete Says He Learned His Lesson About Slow Response in Ohio

Transportation Secretary Mayor Pete Buttigieg said on CBS News this morning that he has learned his lesson about his delayed response to the East Palestine, Ohio train derailment disaster.

In a 9 minute interview he answered questions about what the Biden administration is doing about the East Palestine situation.

He responded this way when asked about his slow response:

“I was focused on just making sure that our folks on the ground were all set, but could have spoken sooner about how strongly I felt about this incident. That’s a lesson learned from me.”

Let’s bring in transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. Secretary, good to see you. Thanks for being here. What steps is the administration and specifically the transportation department taking right now to fix things on the ground?

Pete Buttigieg (00:15):

There are several things that we’re working on, even while we continue to respect the work of the independent NTSB, the National Transportation Safety Board, which for good reason is independent for my department, is leading the safety investigation and it’ll take a while for their report to come through, but we don’t have to wait for that report in order to take certain steps that we are calling for and taking right now. Today we’re pushing a three part drive on rail safety. Things we are doing as an agency, things we’re asking Congress to do to support us and things we’re saying need to change in the rail industry. I’ll give you a couple examples. We are continuing to drive forward on a rule that will require minimum staffing on trains at a time when the rail industry has been pushing to be allowed to have as few as one person, even on trains that can run a mile long or longer. At a minimum, there need to be two. That’s something that we’re working on through the regulatory process.


A second thing is that I’ve directed the Federal Rail Administration to conduct a stepped up, focused inspection program on routes that are carrying certain kinds of hazardous materials. We need to work on the bigger picture, too. That’s where I’m calling Congress in to do things like raising the cap on fines so we can better hold rail companies accountable when there are violations.

To read and watch the entire interview, click here to go to

Stay tuned to Breaking News Politics for all the latest updates on this developing story.

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