For a realistic perspective on the present anxiety over railroad safety, it’s helpful to remember that few things are more upsetting to leftist elites than abundant supplies of inexpensive fossil energy. Because of that, and the Left’s relentless
search for ways to gum up the works, energy-wise, we now see a rising tide of smarmy solicitude from individuals who reject efforts to directly reduce the risk of calamities like the Lac Megantic explosion and more mundane spills.
Last week a dual-purpose Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel editorial promoted rail regulation that will seriously impinge on the energy boom that’s the one bright spot in the nation’s economy, and specifically praised two of the malefactors—Senator Tammy Baldwin and Congressman Ron Kind—who have actively opposed safer energy transportation through the long-delayed Keystone Pipeline.
When federal regulators rolled out their new tank car rules last Friday, Kind and Baldwin clearly had already revved up their PR machines to do what the Left always does when it’s getting what it wants: quibble about whether the new restrictions go far enough.
It’s understandable that Senator Baldwin, in particular, would feel some urgency to be seen “leading the charge,” as her friends at the Journal-Sentinel put it, on almost any issue of public safety after her stunning non-performance in the Tomah VA Hospital scandal. But amid her and Rep. Kind’s handwringing, remember what they did when given the opportunity to substantially reduce the need for rail transportation of crude oil.
On January 29, Baldwin voted “no” on legislation authorizing construction of the pipeline. On February 11, Kind voted “no” when the same bill came before the House—as did both other Democrats in the Wisconsin delegation.
Forgive us if we doubt that the Left’s regulatory enthusiasm is really about public safety.