Amtrak Trains Keep Breaking Down Despite Massive Injection of Taxpayer Cash

Amtrak Train

Amtrak, the national passenger railroad company of the U.S., continues to have routine breakdowns despite receiving massive injections of taxpayer dollars from the Biden administration, according to data from the Department of Transportation (DOT).

Since 2021, there have been 333 Amtrak train incidents reported nationwide as of July 9, 2024, slightly less than the 397 incidents that occurred between 2016 and July 2020 during former President Trump’s tenure, according to the DOT. The Biden administration, as a part of an announced $66 billion for passenger rail in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act, has dedicated huge amounts of taxpayer cash to Amtrak, including $4 billion being given to the rail company near the end of 2022, according to the White House.

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Department of Transportation Estimates Cost of $1.7 Billion to Rebuild Baltimore Bridge

Francis Scott Key Bridge

Following the long-awaited reopening of the federal channel in the Port of Baltimore after the infamous shipping accident in March, the Biden Administration’s Department of Transportation (DOT) estimates that it will cost between $1.7 billion and $1.9 billion to rebuild the Francis Scott Key Bridge.

As ABC News reports, the work to remove debris from the collapsed bridge and the damaged vessel culminated in the reopening of the McHenry Federal Channel to a passage of about 700 feet wide and 500 feet deep, allowing traffic to flow through the harbor once again. Workers will continue removing debris within an established safety zone, and deep draft vessels are required to have a single-escort tug until the cleanup work is completed.

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Biden’s Ambitious EV Charging ‘Fantasy’ May Be on a Collision Course with Reality

President Biden observing EV charing station demonstration

President Joe Biden has pledged to install 500,000 public electric vehicle (EV) chargers around the U.S. by 2030, but logistical hurdles may be too much to overcome.

The Biden administration landed $7.5 billion to build out a network of public EV charging stations around the country in the bipartisan infrastructure package of 2021, but those funds have only led to a handful of operational charging stations to date. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg reaffirmed the administration’s goal to build 500,000 chargers with the money by 2030 during a May television appearance on CBS News, but challenges like adding transmission lines, navigating the permitting process and coordinating with utility companies figure to make the goal improbable.

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Biden Admin Threw Billions at EV Charging Stations, But Only a Handful Have Been Built

Electric Vehicle charging station

The Biden administration’s well-funded push to build out a national network of electric vehicle (EV) chargers has so far resulted in only a handful of installations, according to The Washington Post.

The bipartisan infrastructure bill of 2021 allotted $7.5 billion to subsidize thousands of EV chargers to help the administration’s goal of having EVs constitute 50 percent of all new cars sold in 2030, but only seven stations in total have been built in four states to date, according to the Post. The slow rollout of the EV charger funding is unfolding as the Biden administration has recently issued stringent emissions standards for light-, medium- and heavy-duty vehicles that will result in significant increases of EV sales for all three classes of vehicle.

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‘Almost Orwellian’: Feds Black Out Nearly All Emails about Trucker Surveillance Proposal

Semi Truck at checkpoint

A Department of Transportation component slammed the brakes following semi-furious opposition to its proposal for “on demand” law enforcement surveillance of commercial vehicles a year and a half ago.

It took another six months to turn over the records after a FOIA lawsuit to compel their release, a day before they were due in court Thursday, with no indication yet from FMCSA when it would release a final rule.

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Biden Admin Preparing to Finalize Barrage of Methane Regulations

The Biden administration is gearing up to finalize a host of emissions rules and regulations in the coming months, E&E News reported Wednesday.

The rules and regulations are all focused on methane, a greenhouse gas that is more potent, but dissipates more quickly, than carbon dioxide, and align with the administration’s commitment to attacking climate change with a “whole-of-government” response. The Biden administration is aiming to finalize the slew of methane regulations in the coming months ahead of the 2024 election, which would make the rules more difficult for a potential Republican administration to scrap should President Joe Biden lose, according to E&E News.

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Transportation Department Rejects Ernst’s Request to Review Telework Policies

The Department of Transportation’s (DOT) inspector general declined a request by Republican Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa to look into telework abuses in government agencies, according to a Thursday letter provided to the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Ernst sent a letter to 24 agencies on Aug. 28 requesting that they review their telework policies to determine how taxpayer money was being spent, which Transportation Department Inspector General Eric J. Soskin declined to do, according to the letter. Ernst introduced the Stopping Home Office Work’s Unproductive Problems (SHOW UP) Act on Sept. 13 to address issues with telecommuting as part of a package of legislation to rein in the “administrative state.”

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Pennsylvania GOP State Lawmaker Proposes Freight-Train Length Limit

A Republican Pennsylvania lawmaker is urging colleagues to cosponsor state-level legislation to limit a freight train’s length to no greater than 8,500 feet.

State Representative Louis Schmitt, Jr. (R-Altoona) reasoned in a memorandum describing his proposal that the February 3 derailment in East Palestine, less than half a mile from Pennsylvania’s western border, shows current rail-safety requirements are inadequate. 

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Presidential Candidate Vivek Ramaswamy Blasts DOT Secretary Pete Buttigieg for ‘Tokenizing’ People of Ohio

Ohio resident and newly announced Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy at a campaign stop in Iowa criticized President Joe Biden’s transportation chief for “leadership from behind.” “It’s sort of a token gesture, sort of a cascade of tokenism,” Ramaswamy told The Iowa Star at a campaign stop Thursday in Ankeny.

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Election Integrity Storm Brewing in Pennsylvania: Over 250K Ballots Sent to Voters with Unverified I.D.

More than 250,000 ballots have been mailed to Pennsylvania voters without their identities being verified, according to state data collected by election integrity group Verity Vote.

On Tuesday, 15 Pennsylvania state legislators sent a letter to acting Secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Leigh Chapman regarding unverified ballots sent to voters. As of Thursday, state data show that more than 250,000 ballots have been mailed to voters without verifying their identification.

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Transportation Department Awards Noncompetitive Contracts ‘Counter to Federal Procurement Rules,’ Inspector General Says

Just the News’ Golden Horseshoe is awarded this week to the Department of Transportation for  awarding hundreds of millions of dollars in IT contracts that lacked adequate documentation or proper justification and were extended without oversight, according to a new DOT Inspector General audit.

“Counter to Federal procurement requirements, DOT’s contracting officers (CO) awarded multiple noncompetitive actions to ITSS [IT shared services] contract vehicles without proper justifications, beyond contract term limits, and despite prolonged contractor performance issues,” the audit summary read.

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Commentary: Democrats’ Radical Green Policies Don’t Help, They Hurt

Joe Biden

Last week, Michigan Democrat Sen. Debbie Stabenow bragged that on her way to Washington, D.C. she drove past “every single gas station” in her brand-new electric vehicle “and it didn’t matter how high [gas] was.” Apparently, Stabenow’s message to Americans struggling to afford their commute to work and school is to buy an expensive electric vehicle. For Americans – and especially Michiganders like me – Stabenow’s comment is as unhelpful as it is condescending. But Stabenow isn’t the only Democrat embracing a “let them eat cake” attitude. Climate activists are hurting Americans with their green agenda.

The Biden administration has made EVs a pillar of its anti-U.S. energy agenda. Last year, Joe Biden set a goal that by 2030, half of the vehicles sold in the country would be EVs. More recently, Biden pledged to use taxpayer dollars to build EV charging stations across America. And just a few weeks ago, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg suggested that families anxious about rising gas prices should just buy an EV, which have an average price tag of more than $60,000. Meanwhile, in more than a dozen states and the District of Columbia, drivers are paying more than $5 for a gallon of gas. Painfully high fuel prices aren’t an accident. They’re the momentum driving Biden’s energy “transition.”

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Majority of Americans Say Pete Buttigieg Is Failing to Deal With Supply Chain Crisis: Poll

A majority of Americans say Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is failing to handle the ongoing supply chain crisis, according to a new poll.

Roughly 55% of likely voters rated Buttigieg’s handling of the supply chain crisis as “poor,” according to the results of a Trafalgar Group/Convention of States Action poll released Monday, while around 30% said Buttigieg’s job performance on the crisis is “good” or “excellent.”

Republican voters particularly disapproved of Buttigieg’s job performance, with over 80% saying Buttigieg was doing a poor job handling the crisis. Democrats were more favorable to the secretary, with roughly one-third rating Buttigieg’s performance as poor.

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