The company behind the toxic train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio earlier this year has already spent over ONE MILLION dollars this year lobbying politicians to kill a piece of legislation that would bring more oversight and protections to prevent another derailment in the future. Mike Papantonio & Farron Cousins discuss more.


*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Mike Papantonio: The company behind the toxic train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio earlier this year, has already spent over $1 million this year lobbying politicians to kill a piece of legislation that would bring more oversight and more protection to prevent another derailment. And the legislation, when you look at it, looks meaningless. Doesn’t it? I mean, it looks like nothing. But that’s not good enough for these folks. They’re spending money like a drunk sailor, making sure that nothing happens. They’re buying politicians, literally buying politicians. They’re spending, what was it, almost $2 million just on a whole new round of lobbyists that they’ve spent within a period of several weeks.

Farron Cousins: Yeah. And that’s just the second quarter of this year, I believe.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah. I mean, that’s, it’s nothing. They’re gonna spend whatever it takes. They’re putting in, and by the way, for y’all that say, well, this is not a Democrat. It’s a Democrat problem. Just like it’s a Republican problem. They’re buying Democrat politicians left and right. They’re buying Republican politicians left and right. They’re spending $5,000, tons of money on PACs, both Republican PACs and Democrat PACs. So, I don’t know, take it from there, because there’s this belief that, oh my God, we don’t play, Democrats don’t play like Republicans, do we?

Farron Cousins: No. And this report, again, this from The Intercept, which is another great, obviously, outlet there. But they point out that Norfolk Southern has given $5,000 for Marsha Blackburn, Ted Budd, Shelly Capito, John Cornyn, John Hoeven, Cynthia Lummis, Joe Manchin, Chris Van Hollen, Roger Wicker. So yeah, they’re going across the board to the Democrats and Republicans sitting on the committees that are looking at these bills. And just so everybody knows, the bills have gone nowhere.

Mike Papantonio: The bill is meaningless to begin with. The biggest thing on the bill is that you have to have a two person crew on the train. Like, that’s gonna solve something. How about making them rebuild their infrastructure, breaks that work, breaks that work all over the world that we won’t put in place. We could require ’em to put in place. We know they work in Asia. We know these breaks work in Europe, but we don’t require it.

Farron Cousins: We’re still using the Civil War breaking system. That’s when this was invented. And when was the last time you saw construction of a new railroad? I mean, the railroads themselves are on average, I think built in the fifties across the country. I think it is. So we’re talking about just rail lines that are 70 years old, rotted out in portions. And yeah, that was the big recommendation of the legislation is, okay, how about instead of one guy, what if you have two guys? How about that? Put a second person.

Mike Papantonio: But how are you even, I mean, the most significant thing in this bill, I’m not making it up, the most significant thing, is there has to be two people that are, a two person crew, a bare minimum running the train. Like, that’s a problem? But they’re fighting tooth and nail. Oh, but they’re saying this, I love this quote. This is management. We look forward to continuing our engagement, our important engagement with members of Congress. That’s where this is all gonna die. All these people that are getting $5,000 here, these politicians sell themselves for nothing. Can you imagine? Yeah. I’m gonna kill this for $5,000. They do that though. I mean, $5,000 to these cats, man, that’s a lot of money sometimes.

Farron Cousins: And it’s really disappointing, by the way, for everybody watching this to understand that your life is worth probably $10 to these people.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah. nothing.

Farron Cousins: So, you know.

Mike Papantonio is an American attorney and television and radio talk show host. He is past president of The National Trial Lawyers, the most prestigious trial lawyer association in America; and is one of the few living attorneys inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. He hosts the international television show "America's Lawyer"; and co-hosts Ring of Fire Radio, a nationally syndicated weekly radio program, with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Sam Seder.