Namely, the ruin it is inflicting on the Metro in Washington, DC…
An electrical malfunction and smoke in a Metro tunnel under the Potomac caused an hours-long suspension of service Monday on a bottleneck stretch of three rail lines, stranding thousands of morning commuters and raising howls of protest over another breakdown of the Washington area’s transit system.
A second significant disruption occurred late Monday night at another of the rail system’s choke points when Metro Center was closed to passengers. As basketball fans were leaving the Verizon Center, smoke was reported in the tunnel and power was said to be cut off. Trains on the Blue, Orange and Silver lines passed through on one track, causing delays on those lines. Although Red Line trains also did not stop, they were said to be running without delays.
The District’s AlertDC system said the problem was caused by a transformer and was under control by 11:02 p.m.
Earlier Monday, in a situation similar to one that turned fatal in a Yellow Line tunnel Jan. 12, electricity that is used to power trains began escaping from the inbound third rail on Metro tracks under the Potomac about 8 a.m., the transit agency said.
Although there was no fire, Metro said, the electricity, which is supposed to be safely contained within insulation, generated heat and smoke as it escaped in the tunnel between the Rosslyn and Foggy Bottom stations. Four months after scores of Yellow Line passengers were sickened in a smoke-filled tunnel near the L’Enfant Plaza station, and one rider died, Metro reacted Monday by immediately shutting down a major part of the rail system.
Why is this happening? Our pal Donny Ferguson explains…
It turns out there’s a reason Metro has had a recent rash of electrical fires, and for once it’s not the collective stupidity of Metro management.
Steel dust from friction on the rails collects on the insulators, which causes electricity from the third rail to arc. That ignites the insulators, causing them to catch fire. That’s easily preventable by routinely washing the rails to remove the steel dust. Metro did that, which is why there were few electrical fires in the past.
But new environmental discharge regulations now prohibit them from washing the rails. Steel dust is collecting on the insulators, and Metro cannot remove it.
As a result of the new environmental regulation, the Metro system is now bursting into flames catch fire and causing the D.C. area’s entire mass transit system to shut down during rush hour.
So, instead of small amounts of steel dust getting into the water, we now have lots of black smoke from electrical fires and increased vehicle exhaust from thousands people taking their cars instead of gambling on Metro.
And that’s before you get to the death of a Virginia woman in one of the fires, which more probably to come.
Who will save the Earth from environmentalists?
It takes a special kind of bureaucratic busybody stupidity to create a cockup of this magnitude. We give you the EPA, which is committed to insuring the ruin of our economic productivity and quality of life.
But if not for the EPA we would have dirty air and dirty water, which Republicans want to inflict on America – right?