On February 3rd, one of the biggest environmental disasters in US history occured when Norfolk Southern derailed in East Palestine, Ohio. 11 of the cars were carrying chemicals that were later burned off in the hopes that an explosion could be prevented, causing even more damage.
On Thursday, the NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) blamed the derailment on an overheated wheel bearing on one of the train cars, and they believe that this is likely what caused the derailment. NTSB claimed that “surveillance video … showed what appeared to be a wheel bearing in the final stage of overheat failure moments before the derailment.”
Investigative journalist Jordan Schachtel published an article on Substack on Thursday noting that this neglect of proper safety protocals, which could have prevented the derailment, may have been due to Norfolk’s pursuit of ESG (environmental, social, and corporate governance).
Norfolk Southern’s 2022 ESG report shows that the company completely embraced “stakeholder capitalism”, a key principle in the Great Reset and ESG.
The report, published in late 2022, highlights how Norfolk has been pursuing this radical climate agenda over the safety of others and is focused on merit-based hiring, the S in ESG.
The report contains a message from Alan Shaw, the rail company’s CEO. In a letter to readers, Shaw bragged about how the company would continue “reducing our carbon footprint” while expanding their DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) initiatives.
Hiring qualified people isn’t the top concern of Norfolk Southern, pursing ESG is. Norfolk was more concerned with “racial equity”.
The DEI page touts how Shaw signed the “CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion pledge”, which commits employers to “implement and expand unconscious bias education and training.”
In its DEI page, Jason Pettway, the company’s Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (a role created by the company in 2021) brags about how more than half of all new hires belong to a racial minority group. The DEI page makes clear that Norfolk Southern is more concerned with hiring on the basis of gender and skin color, and not qualifications.
Norfolk Southern has won plenty of awards recently for “delivering the low-carbon economy” and for their “climate leadership”.
The company bragged about “new electric cranes” in their report, and how the company is making great progress towards reducing gas emissions by 42% by the year 2034.
Top stockholders in the company include the usual suspects when it comes to things like the Great Reset and ESG, including the main financier of the Great Reset, Blackrock.
So could the accident have been prevented if they focused more on safety over their pursuit of ESG? Probably.
This should serve as a warning to all. Accidents like these will continue to happen and get worse and worse because safety is no longer the concern. Hiring based on qualifications is no longer the top concern, but making sure you reach certain quotas when it comes to women, minorities and how many LGBT+s you have on your board, regardless of if they are qualified or not.