Environmental activist and legal expert Erin Brockovich has been a household name since Julia Roberts played her in the 2000 biopic that bears her name.
On Friday, she used her star power to illuminate the ongoing ecological disaster in eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania.
She challenged people at the highest levels of government, who have left residents of the area affected by a toxic train derailment feeling lied to, to stop being dishonest with them — and to her.
Three decades ago, Brockovich was a single mother who successfully lobbied an attorney to give her a job. She later discovered the Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) had been lying to residents of a town in California and worked tirelessly on their behalf.
People who were made sick by toxins were recognized and compensated, and the rest is history.
Fast-forward to this past week, and the now-62-year-old is standing up for the people of East Palestine, Ohio — whose lives were upended on Feb. 3 when a Norfolk Southern train carrying toxic chemicals derailed in their community.
Environmental groups have largely avoided acknowledging the incident, which occurred under a White House administration that claims to care about everyday Americans, their health and their air and water.
The hesitancy of all parties to openly discuss the environmental catastrophe has been concerning.
Much of the green lobby is of course aligned ideologically with the Democratic Party, and the party is led by people’s ambitions to eliminate fossil fuels and force the globe to rely on unproven green energy.
The same people who protested the Dakota Access Pipeline six years ago have been notably absent throughout the past four weeks.
The derailment of a train that was carrying chemicals that are now poisoning people and animals is nothing, if not inconvenient to people whose motives are political.
Simply put, it would be politically advantageous for a government that cannot manage crises if the people of East Palestine accepted what they’ve been told and stopped bringing attention to their collective plight.
That won’t happen if Brockovich has anything to do with it.
She visited the area and relayed to Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Friday that people have been given mixed messages about their drinking water.
She said schools in the area have had their drinking fountains locked up and was confident officials in charge are lying.
This has all happened since residents of the area were told their water was safe.
“Look, you don’t have to go any further, in my opinion, than a hundred-year study that we all know the miners did for us,” Brockovich said. “It’s called the canary in the mine shaft. Send the canary down there, it dies, might not be good for humans.”
She noted people in the community had witnessed dead fish and dead animals with their own eyes. She cited that as a pretty strong signal that areas inhabited by struggling wildlife “might not be good for humans.”
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Brockovich challenged those in power when she stated any attempt to spin the situation on the ground would be met with resistance.
“And you can explain away all day long to me that nothing’s wrong,” she said. “But I see what’s going on here.”
Brockovich concluded, “You’re not going to gaslight me.”
The Environmental Protection Agency has been on the ground in East Palestine since the train derailed.
But Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg took weeks to visit the community while Biden said he has no plans to visit the area.
But the people of East Palestine do have people advocating on their behalf.
Former President Donald Trump’s visit to the area generated the kind of buzz they needed. Brockovich, who has been on the ground and has spoken to those devastated by the incident, is now in their corner.
Given her success in fighting powerful entities with interests that do not necessarily align with what is best for the public, Brockovich could be a powerful ally.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.