Researchers Raise Questions About Cobalt Gold Rush, East Palestine Disaster

Holidays in my childhood have been spent at my grandparents’ farm in Plain Grove, Pennsylvania, 35 miles from East Palestine, Ohio. My grandfather’s grandfather fought at Gettysburg and homesteaded the 160-acre farm after the Civil Struggle. My grandmother bought it within the Nineteen Sixties for $13,000, missing a male inheritor to do the work; however my kinfolk nonetheless stay within the space.

I’ve subsequently taken a eager curiosity within the poisonous chemical catastrophe that resulted when a Norfolk Southern freight prepare derailed in East Palestine on Feb. 3, though it’s not my common line of analysis. The official narrative doesn’t appear so as to add up. One thing else should have been happening, however what?

A Litany of Anomalies

The 150-car prepare was 1.76 miles lengthy, and 10 of the 38 derailed cars contained hazardous supplies, together with vinyl chloride. The decision was made to create a gap in every of the suspect automobiles and permit the contents to movement right into a pit, which was then lit on hearth. As reported in Newsweek:

The poisonous combination of chemical compounds and carcinogens launched … may unfold many miles out from the crash website, consultants say.

The chemical compounds—together with vinyl chloride, butyl acrylate, ethylhexyl acrylate and ethylene glycol monobutyl, based on the Environmental Safety Company (EPA)— have been being carried aboard the prepare when it derailed. …

The fireplace despatched up a large plume of black smoke. When burned, vinyl chloride reacts to kind phosphene fuel, which was used as a chemical weapon in World War I.

How far may the phosgene cloud unfold? Based on a researcher cited within the Newsweek article, “It relies upon very a lot on the climate situations … however probably nicely over 100 miles radius.” Vinyl chloride turns into phosgene fuel, a chemical weapon, solely when burned. Why was the choice made to dump and burn the chemical compounds? Unbiased journalist Eric Coppolino writes that the “resolution to breach, dump and burn was completely irrational and no person understands it. The extra expertise individuals have, the much less they perceive it. EPA was concerned; it can’t merely be a bystander.” Observing that there are gaping holes within the official narrative, he writes [brackets mine]:

  • There has by no means been a dump and burn in railroad historical past, even within the decade previous to its being banned by 1980 rules. There’s at all times dump and take away, or decant (into tankers) and take away. Spills occur each two weeks — the burn half is unprecedented and there may be not often a have to dump. The standard method is to take the contaminated dust to a hazardous waste landfill.
  • A 2022 EPA steering, which says easy methods to interpret legal guidelines and regs, repeats the ban on dump and burn besides solely after cautious consideration when there may be completely no different various (which has by no means occurred in civilian society; it occurs within the navy). [For more on the EPA guidance, see here.]
  • Totally enclosed hazmat tanker truck driver restoration operation (completely routine process when there are broken tanker automobiles) was initiated the evening of Friday Feb. 3 — after which referred to as off inside 24 hours (on Friday evening or Saturday). Who referred to as it off and why?
  • Hearth strains pulled from preserving tankers cool.
  • No samples of soot or wipe samples from contained in the tanker automobiles — lacking essential information that may reveal the true nature of the incident.
  • Level supply soot samples are additionally lacking. These would even be tell-all. …
  • No state or federal emergencies have been declared, depriving governments of emergency powers and companies of sure sorts of authority …
  • Evaluation of samples from PTRMS lab (a high-end cellular chemistry evaluation lab) are bogged [logged? bogged down?] at Carnegie Mellon, in custody of [research professor] Albert Presto, who isn’t releasing them.
  • Strain launch valves (PRVs) have been working high quality, per NTSB [National Transportation Safety Board] report; the tanker automobiles weren’t in jeopardy. Different reviews say the VCM [vinyl chloride monomer] was not in jeopardy of exploding and apart from, they will simply decanter it into tanker vehicles as is finished commonly.
  • 5 lifeless CTEH guys [environmental scientists] in airplane crash (eyewitnesses to level supply sampling), who have been on the East Palestine scene taking samples on behalf of the railroad and took samples … they died en path to the subsequent mission. [CTEH was the company hired by Norfolk Southern to test the air in East Palestine, though the plane crash was en route to a later Ohio mission.]
  • Persons are nonetheless sick in Palestine in a method they shouldn’t be primarily based on each different incident my supply has labored on for 30 years. …
  • Chemical compounds which might be at the moment banned from manufacturing by federal regulation are DDT, PCBs, PBDEs, some CFCs, all chemical warfare brokers and chemical compounds banned from manufacturing by voluntary settlement with chemical business are PFOS and PFOA.
  • OK, what actually occurred? —Eric Coppolino, reposted on The Truth Barrier.

Cobalt, Lithium and Appalachian Coal Mines

One other astute researcher, who has a podcast at, has been asking comparable questions. She traces attainable hyperlinks to the cobalt gold rush, having discovered a research paper from Pennsylvania State College concentrating on western Pennsylvania and the adjoining Ohio border space for cobalt extraction. It appears that evidently previous deserted coal mines are potential sources of cobalt and lithium. (My uncle was a coal miner in western Pennsylvania.)

As observed in the New York Times, “The hunt for cobalt, which is crucial for electric-car batteries, has fueled a cycle of exploitation, greed and gamesmanship.” And as noted on in April 2021, “Cobalt is taken into account the best materials provide chain danger for electrical automobiles (EVs) within the brief and medium-term.”

According to on April 4, 2023, “Throughout the nation, there are billions of tons of coal waste and ash, mine tailings, acid mine drainage, and discharged water. These waste streams from mining, vitality manufacturing, and associated actions include all kinds of beneficial uncommon earth parts and different important minerals that may be produced and used to construct clear vitality applied sciences ….”

The SquirrelTribe podcaster factors to an April 4, 2023, Associated Press article which states:

President Joe Biden’s administration is making $450 million out there for photo voltaic farms and different clear vitality initiatives on the website of present or former coal mines, a part of his efforts to fight local weather change.

As many as 5 initiatives nationwide shall be funded via the 2021 infrastructure law

The White Home additionally mentioned it is going to enable builders of fresh vitality initiatives to benefit from billions of {dollars} in new bonuses being provided along with funding and manufacturing tax credit out there via the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act. …

Mining areas in Appalachia and different elements of the nation have lengthy had the infrastructure, workforce, experience and “can-​do attitude” to provide vitality, [Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm] advised reporters on Monday. …Uncommon earth parts and different minerals are key elements of batteries for electrical automobiles, cellphones and different expertise. Biden has made boosting domestic mining a precedence because the U.S. seeks to lower its reliance on China, which has lengthy dominated the battery supply chain.

In November 2021, Scientific American revealed an article titled “Chip Shortage Threatens Biden’s Electric Vehicle Plans,” quoting Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, who mentioned, “The typical electrical car has about 2000 chips, roughly double the typical variety of chips in a non-electric automobile.” She advised reporters that Biden’s plans for half of latest automobiles to be electrical by 2030 is dependent upon the U.S. investing in semiconductor manufacturing – the “Creating Useful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) for America Act.”

On Jan. 21, 2022, a White House Fact Sheet mentioned that laptop chips have been important to a variety of merchandise from automobiles to good telephones; that the Administration had been working across the clock to develop U.S. chip manufacturing capability; and that “Right this moment, Intel will announce a brand new $20 billion manufacturing facility exterior Columbus, Ohio.”

The Intel chip manufacturing facility has been referred to as the largest private sector investment in Ohio history, anticipated to develop into the “largest silicon manufacturing location on the planet.” However discovering the wanted minerals might be an issue. As detailed by Andrew Hawkins in an August 2022 article on The Verge:

EVs want batteries, and batteries want minerals like nickel, cobalt, and lithium. The US has a few of these minerals underground, and it needs to dig them up, expeditiously, in order that it doesn’t should rely as a lot on different nations, together with China.

However that is the place it will get tough. Mining operators say they will pace up the digging course of, however a bunch of regulatory roadblocks stand of their method. And environmentalists and tribal teams stay extremely skeptical that every one this mining will be accomplished in a method that doesn’t wreck the land and spoil the water. …

The Inflation Discount Act, the Democrats’ new tax and local weather invoice, devotes practically $400 billion to wash vitality initiatives over the subsequent decade, together with EV tax credits and financing for corporations that manufacture clear automobiles within the U.S. And California mentioned it will ban the sale of new gas-​powered vehicles starting in 2035, a transfer that over a dozen different states are anticipated to observe.

However the one EVs that shall be eligible for the $7,500 credit score are ones which might be made in North America utilizing batteries with minerals dug out of the bottom within the U.S. or from its buying and selling companions….

It could simply not be attainable. A US Geological Survey estimated that to completely electrify its car fleet, the U.S. will want 1.27 million and 160,000 metric tons of battery-​grade nickel and cobalt per 12 months, respectively — each of which exceed complete international manufacturing in 2021.

Sitting on a Uncommon Earth Goldmine – Blessing or Curse?

As observed on, “Smartphones, computer systems and electrical automobiles could also be emblems of the fashionable world, however … their rechargeable batteries are regularly powered by cobalt mined by employees laboring in slave-like situations within the Democratic Republic of Congo.”

These are usually not conditions below which American miners would wish to work. However it might be excellent news for the individuals of the East Palestine area. They could be sitting on one thing that’s extra beneficial to the electrical car business even than gold: cobalt and lithium.

Nonetheless, suspicions additionally run the opposite method: that their lands have been rendered uninhabitable in an effort to devalue the property, permitting it to be acquired cheaply for cobalt restoration, both in voluntary sale or by eminent area.

The Eminent domain is a unprecedented energy by which the federal government can take property with out the proprietor’s consent. Typically, the one stipulations are that the property be put to a public use and that honest compensation be paid. However the energy is controversial and topic to abuse. In Iowa, it’s getting used over landowners’ objections to pressure entry for carbon capture pipelines, meant to decrease ethanol’s carbon emissions by transporting liquefied carbon dioxide from ethanol vegetation to be saved underground. Summit Carbon Solutions plans a $4.5 billion 2000-mile pipeline transporting carbon dioxide via 5 states.

Deliberately rendering properties uninhabitable sounds fairly far-fetched, however it’s not with out precedent. In a podcast titled “Blackstone STEALING Homes From Working Class Americans,” Krystal Ball states:

Danish lawmakers passed a law that may forestall landlords from jacking up costs till 5 years after the completion of any new renovations. This was in response to allegations from residents that Blackstone would deliberately embark upon loud and intrusive renovations with the direct objective of attempting to pressure longtime residents out in order that they may then dramatically up their rents. In Copenhagen this method got here to be often known as “shake the constructing.” As one journalist wrote, “Think about an apple tree shaking on the trunk to get the apples free from the branches. In the true property world the occupants are the apples, the residences are the branches, and when a landlord ‘shakes the constructing,’ it’s to get the tenants out.”

Two of the three largest institutional investors in Blackstone are Vanguard and BlackRock, which successfully personal one another. Vanguard and BlackRock are additionally the two largest shareholders of Intel Corp. And the SquirrelTribe podcaster notes that they’re two of the three largest investors not only in Southern Norfork however in Netflix, which launched a film referred to as “White Noise” in November 2022. The film tracks the incidents in East Palestine so intently that some bloggers counsel it was “predictive programming” for that catastrophe. The plot includes a tanker truck carrying poisonous supplies that crashes right into a prepare in a small Ohio city, creating an airborne poisonous occasion. The movie was shot nearly completely in Northeast Ohio, the place a number of East Palestine residents labored as extras in it. One in all them told CNN that the movie “hits too near house.” He mentioned, “The primary half of the film is all nearly precisely what’s happening right here. Everyone’s been speaking about that.”

One other suspicious improvement is an East Palestine ordinance handed in January that requires the homeowners of vacant buildings to pay a considerable charge, file a vacant constructing plan, and procure an inspection for vacant buildings. Exemptions apply in the event that they plan to promote the property.

Abandon the Ban?

Whether or not or not the push for U.S. cobalt and lithium mining had something to do with the East Palestine catastrophe, possibly it’s time to rethink the drive to pressure 100% of latest automobile gross sales to be electrical automobiles. Europe is now “all however abandoning” its engine ban. According to the Wall Street Journal on March 27:

The implausibility of a net-​zero carbon vitality future is turning into so apparent that even Europeans are beginning to discover. Witness the weekend resolution to step again from the ban on internal-​combustion vehicle engines that the European Union had meant to implement by 2035.

… Battery applied sciences don’t exist to switch fossil fuels in driving distance or ease of refueling, and nobody can say if or when such batteries will materialize. …

Electrical automobiles additionally require rare-​earth minerals typically sourced from soiled mines in China. They’re solely as inexperienced and reasonably priced because the electrical energy used to cost them. In Europe which means coal-​fired energy for which customers pay an enormous value owing to the prices of forcing intermittent renewables corresponding to wind and photo voltaic into the grid.

For these causes plus a powerful dose of old-​common business self-​curiosity, Germany’s auto business objected to the ban on internal-​combustion engines, and it’s good somebody did. Resistance from Berlin and a number of other different European governments has compelled Brussels into all however abandoning its engine ban.

Because the chairman of 1 Indigenous tribe wrote in a comment to the U.S. Department of the Interior, “The inexperienced vitality revolution can’t be constructed on a unclean mining business, outdated rules, and environmental injustice.”

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