Amtrak Cascades at sunset

Amtrak’s new “Break The Travel Quo” campaign showcases the advantages of rail travel

Amtrak, America’s passenger railroad, has been facing the prospect of deep service cuts ever since Donald Trump and his minions rolled out their first budget proposal. But, buoyed by Congress’ refusal to (so far) implement the proposed evisceration of its long distance routes, Amtrak this week rolled out a brand new ad campaign that brilliantly showcases the advantages of rail travel, called Break the Travel Quo.

Fire at Arkema chemical plant in Texas

Texas Republicans lobbied against imposition of safety rules on chemical plant that exploded

“The French company that says its Houston-area chemical plant is spewing ‘noxious’ smoke — and may explode — successfully pressed federal regulators to delay new regulations designed to improve safety procedures at chemical plants, according to federal records reviewed by International Business Times.”

Tesla Roadster in front of wind turbines

California Legislature votes to raise gas taxes, vehicle fees by $5.2 billion a year for road repairs and transit

Patrick McGreevy and Melanie Mason, reporting for The Los Angeles Times: “After a week of fierce debate between opposing interests, the state Legislature on Thursday approved a plan to raise gas taxes and vehicle fees by $5.2 billion a year to pay for the repair of California’s pothole-ridden, decaying system of roads, highways and bridges.”

Library closed sign

Closures come for libraries around Oregon’s Douglas County; central public library in Roseburg closes May 31st

What happens when a vital public service is starved of resources? It shuts down. Without enough funding to keep the doors open, authorities in Oregon’s Douglas County are closing its libraries, leaving 8,500 cardholders stranded. “We simply don’t have the money anymore,” Douglas County Commissioner Gary Leif told The Register Guard of Eugene.