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We’re now in the “find out” phase of undoing train safety regulations

Screenshot of Fortune article whose headline reads “Trump Rolls Back Train-Braking Rule Meant to Keep Oil Tankers from Exploding Near Communities.” The article was written by Glenn Fleishman and published September 24, 2018 at 8:21 p.m. EDT.
Tap to read the original Fortune article.
Vinyl chloride molecular structure. From the Illustrated Glossary of Organic Chemistry.
Vinyl Chloride’s molecular structure. The dark gray atoms are carbon, the light gray atoms are hydrogen, and the green atom is chlorine.

“Fuck around and find out,” the expression goes, and with the recent derailment and explosion of a train with tanker cars full of vinyl chloride near East Palestine, Ohio, we’re definitely in the “find out” phase.

(In case you were wondering, most of the vinyl chloride made is used to produce its cousin, polyvinyl chloride, a.k.a. PVC, which is used to make lots of things.)

The “fuck around” part is from a few years back, in the United States conducted an experiment in democracy by putting a trollish narcissistic con man at the head of the Executive Branch. It appears to have been one of many measures meant to undo legislation and other changes from the administration of Barack Obama, for whom Trump held great contempt (and made no secret of it). You can find out more in these articles:

One reply on “We’re now in the “find out” phase of undoing train safety regulations”

Vinyl chloride is nasty stuff. It’s a flashing liquid. The rule of thumb for a gasoline is that a pool of it has a cloud of gasoline vapor roughly the size of the pool hovering over it. Flashing liquids like vinyl chloride aren’t like that. Their cloud grows and grows, often until finds an ignition source.

P.S. I discovered this in a great book What Went Wrong?

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