The green movement has brought about all kinds of changes in the way we live. Some of the changes are not necessarily bad, but the good changes and conservation could have come without all the programs that actually have a negative economic and
environmental impact. Certainly, recycling for the most part consumes more energy that it saves. Recycling aluminum makes economic sense, but that would happen even without the demand to recycle everything from paper to glass and plastic.
Source: Liberty Defined, by Rep. Ron Paul, p.140
, Apr 19, 2011
Neglected property rights during the industrial revolution
Q: Schwarzenegger has proposed that California be allowed to implement much tougher environmental regulations on emission requirements than apply to the rest of the country. Do you side with the governor or with the Bush administration?
California should do what they want. When we’re dealing with the environment and greenhouse gases, [it’s] property rights. We neglected during the industrial revolution property rights, and governments and big corporations got together and colluded.
Source: 2008 Republican debate at Reagan Library in Simi Valley
, Jan 30, 2008
Property rights are the foundation of all rights
We must stop special interests from violating property rights and literally driving families from their homes, farms and ranches. We also face another danger in regulatory takings: Through excess regulation, governments deprive property owners of
significant value and use of their properties--all without paying “just compensation.”
Property rights are the foundation of all rights in a free society. Without the right to own a printing press, for example, freedom of the press becomes meaningless
Scored 14% on Humane Society Scorecard on animal protection
The Humane Society 109th Congress Scorecard on animal protection scored Paul 14 out of 100, based on:
Paul voted against the Horse Slaughter Prevention Act (HR.503): To bar slaughtering horses for human consumption.
Paul voted for the “poison
pill” Amendment delaying implementation of HR.503.
Paul did not vote on the BLM amendment on 5/19/2005: To bar slaughtering wild horses & burros.
Paul voted against the Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards (PETS) Act (HR.3858):
To consider the needs of people with pets and service animals in disaster planning.
Paul did not co-sponsor the Animal Fighting Prohibition Act (S.382): To criminalize dogfighting & cockfighting.
Paul did not co-sponsor the Downed Animal
Protection Act (HR.3931): to ban “downed” (unable to walk to slaughter) cattle, pigs & sheep in human food.
Paul did not sign the Funding Letter of 4/28/2006, to the Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee for animal protection.
Source: Humane Society 109th Congress Scorecard, www.fund.org
, Jan 31, 2007
Voted NO on $2 billion more for Cash for Clunkers program.
Congressional Summary:Emergency supplemental appropriations of $2 billion for the Consumer Assistance to Recycle and Save (CARS) Program.
Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Rep. OBEY (D, WI-7): The cash for clunkers program has proven even more wildly popular than its strongest supporters had predicted. Just last month, Congress passed the program, which provided up to $4,500 if you trade in your old gas guzzler for a new car that gets better mileage. That was done in the hopes of spurring some new car sales and encouraging people to be a little more environmentally friendly. We provided $1 billion in the supplemental to get it going, enough for about 250,000 sales--which was just about exhausted in one week. This bill transfers $2 billion from the Department of Energy's Innovative Technology Loan Guarantee program, which doesn't expect to award funding until late next year.
Opponent's argument to vote No:Rep. LEWIS (R, CA-41):
In the majority's haste to slam legislation with no time for consideration or amendments, we are now seeing the effects of such shortsighted martial law tactics.
Senator Feinstein tried to negotiate some changes to improve the program but was told that it was this way or the highway. Not one hearing on the Cash for Clunkers program, not one hearing on how the first billion dollars has been spent, not one hearing on how much money the program will need to get through the fiscal year.
Many of my colleagues will say, This is a great program, and it is necessary for the revitalization of the car industry. I'm not really going to argue with those goals. However, are we sure this program is working like it's supposed to? I don't think so. This program has only been up and running 1 week. If that is how the government is going to handle billion-dollar programs affecting all Americans, I ask, Whatever will we do if the administration takes control of our health care system?
Voted NO on protecting free-roaming horses and burros.
Ensure that acreage available for wild and free-roaming horses and burros is at least equal to the acreage where they were found in 1971
update the inventory of such horses and burros annually
maintain a thriving natural ecological balance on lands where such horses and burros are found
establish sanctuaries for such horses and burros
research and implement enhanced fertility control for mares & stallions.
Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Rep. NICK RAHALL (D, WV-3): Earlier this year, the BLM made a truly shocking announcement. This Federal agency announced future plans to destroy, i.e., slaughter, 30,000 healthy wild horses and burros entrusted to their care by the American people. How in the world can a Federal agency be considering massive slaughter of animals the law says they are supposed to be protecting? The bill before us gives the agency as many options as possible to avoid destroying these animals.
Opponent's argument to vote No:Rep. DOC HASTINGS (R, WA-4): Across our Nation, Americans are struggling to pay their bills; 9.5% of Americans are out of work. With this backdrop, what is the response of this Democrat Congress to record unemployment and skyrocketing deficits? Their response is to create a $700 million welfare program for wild horses and burros. If the American people want an illustration of just how out of touch this Congress has become on spending, they need to look no further. In the last Congress, the House passed legislation to ban the commercial slaughter of wild horses and burros, that cost taxpayers less than $500,000 a year. Now we're looking at a bill that, again, bans slaughter of these animals but then proceeds to spend $700 million to create a new welfare program for wild horses. Republicans are focused on creating the jobs in this country, but this Democrat Congress seems to be more worried about wild burros and wild horses.
Reference: Restore Our American Mustangs Act;
; vote number 2009-H577
on Jul 17, 2009
Voted NO on environmental education grants for outdoor experiences.
Requires Environmental Education and Training program grantees to:
ensure that environmental education programs and curricula advance the teaching of interdisciplinary courses that include strong field components;
bring teachers into contact with working environmental professionals;
encourage individuals traditionally underrepresented in environmental careers
Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Rep. JOHN SARBANES (D, MD-3): This bill creates a new National Capacity Environmental Education grant program for which education associations apply competitively for grants that would fund model programs that get children into nature and really have them experiencing the environment.
Rep. BUCK McKEON (R, CA-25): This bill incorporates scientifically-based and technology-driven teaching methods into environmental education. Unfortunately, the new National Capacity Environmental Education Program is duplicative of the existing
environmental education program already being run by the EPA. Still, I do not intend to oppose its passage.
Opponent's argument to vote No:Rep. MICHELE BACHMANN (R, MN-6): H.R. 3036 continues our Nation down the ill-fated road of shifting control of school curricula away from the parents and teachers and local school boards who best know what their children need into the hands of Federal Government and its one-size-fits-all approach. To best serve our children's educational needs, local school boards need flexibility to target resources where they are needed most. The needs of individual school districts are not homogenous and are most certainly not best understood by bureaucrats in Washington. This bill represents a step in the wrong direction. Forcing local school districts to direct scarce resources away from core curricula to serve a political agenda will only further suppress the academic performance of America's next generation.
Reference: No Child Left Inside Act;
; vote number 2008-H614
on Sep 18, 2008
Voted NO on $9.7B for Amtrak improvements and operation thru 2013.
Authorizes appropriations for FY2009-FY2013 for Amtrak capital and operating grants; Amtrak repayment of long-term debt and capital leases; and the rail cooperative research program.
Authorizes grants for the Next Generation Corridor Train Equipment Pool Committee.
Proponents argument for voting YEA: Rep. OBERSTAR: America is on the threshold of a "renaissance'' for intercity passenger rail that approaches the enthusiasm of the completion of the transcontinental railroad. Last year, Amtrak set a ridership record for the fifth year in a row, exceeding 25.8 million passengers. Its ticket revenues rose 11 percent to more than $1.5 billion, the third straight year of revenue growth. This record of achievement is even more impressive considering that for the past eight years Amtrak has contended with an Administration committed to its bankruptcy.
Indeed, these achievements are occurring when there is a greater need than ever for alternatives to our congested highways and skies. To alleviate this congestion and strengthen our energy security, we need to invest in intercity passenger rail.
Other countries already make an annual commitment to intercity passenger rail. In 2003 alone, France invested $10.6 billion in its rail system; Germany invested $12.4 billion; and the United Kingdom invested $7.8 billion. China plans to spend a total of $162 billion from 2006 through 2010 to expand its railway system. This bill authorizes $14 billion over 5 years:
$6.7 billion for capital grants
$3.0 billion for operating grants
$2.5 billion for 80% matching grants to States to pay for the capital costs of facilities
$1.75 billion to finance 11 authorized high-speed rail corridors
Reference: Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act;
; vote number 2008-400
on Jun 11, 2008
Voted NO on increasing AMTRAK funding by adding $214M to $900M.
Voting YES on this amendment would restore $214 million in funding for AMTRAK, bringing the total annual expenditure for AMTRAK to $1.114 billion. The chairman of the Railroad Subcommittee explained the increase as follows:
Unlike aviation, highways and transit, there is no dedicated funding for investing in our Nation's passenger rail service. This amendment restores $214 million to the Amtrak account, taking it to $1.114 billion, which is still about $300 million less than we had during the course of last year's discussion.
Last year the President sent up a budget of zero for Amtrak. We had an amendment process that we went through this time. This time we are up to $900 million in the bill [without this amendment].
But if you look at that $900 million, there is only $500 million for capital expenditures, out of which has to come a debt service of $280 million, which only leaves $220 million for the capital needs of this country for Amtrak, for passenger rail.
There is nothing for
operation, and I know that the response to that is going to be that there are some incentive grants in the bill.
Opponents of the amendment say that it would increase funding for Amtrak by gutting and eliminating critical programs, including safety programs, resulting in reductions in force at several agencies.
An amendment to prohibit funding the "Yucca Mountain Youth Zone" website. Voting YES indicates opposition to using Yucca Mountain as the national nuclear waste repository. The amendment's sponsor says:
I would like to introduce the American people to the newest member of the Bush administration's energy policy team. His name is Yucca Mountain Johnny. He is the star of the Energy Department's Yucca Mountain Youth Zone Web site devoted to brainwashing school children into believing that burying the Nation's nuclear garbage 90 miles from Los Vegas is safe.
The Web site features games and activities to make high level nuclear waste fun. High level nuclear waste is not fun. It is dangerous, and the Department of Energy should not be using taxpayer money for a propaganda tool.
I would probably not be as upset with Joe Camel, excuse me, Yucca Mountain Johnny, if there was a more balanced approach on this Web site. It doesn't talk about the potential of accidents or being an inviting target for
terrorists. It doesn't talk about the fact that Yucca Mountain is in a volcanic and seismic zone area. It doesn't say anything about the existence of safer and cheaper alternatives.
Among Yucca Mountain Johnny's witty sayings, he says, "The worst mistake is never making one." Well, Yucca Mountain is a mistake. This Web site is a mistake. Yucca Mountain Johnny is a mistake, and to promote the proposed nuclear waste repository to our children under the guise of education is a big mistake.
The amendment's opponents respond:
To my knowledge, nobody has questioned the accuracy or truth of what is on the Web site. My guess is that most of the children that access this website use it for term papers and papers in their classrooms that they have to do on nuclear power.
Whether you oppose or support the repository, we should at least want the facts out to our children and adults who wish to use that same Web site about just what exactly it is.
Voted NO on speeding up approval of forest thinning projects.
Vote to adopt the conference report on the bill that would reduce and expedite (speed up) environmental and judicial reviews of forest thinning projects. The bill would authorize $760 million a year from fiscal 2004 to fiscal 2008. The Bureau of Land Management and the US Forest Service would have the authorization to remove vegetation that could cause or assist the spread of wildfires, disease or insect infestation. All forest thinning project would come after public meetings had been held. Forest thinning would be restricted to land that is within a 1.5 miles of at-risk communities , high-risk land that serves as a home for threatened and endangered species, high-risk land in the area of municipal water sources and and high-risk land that is specifically susceptible to disease or insect infestation.
Reference: Healthy Forests Restoration Act;
Bill HR 1904
; vote number 2003-656
on Nov 21, 2003
Rated 5% by the LCV, indicating anti-environment votes.
Paul scores 5% by the LCV on environmental issues
The League of Conservation Voters (LCV) is the political voice of the national environmental movement and the only organization devoted full-time to shaping a pro-environment Congress and White House. We run tough and effective campaigns to defeat anti-environment candidates, and support those leaders who stand up for a clean, healthy future for America. Through our National Environmental Scorecard and Presidential Report Card we hold Congress and the Administration accountable for their actions on the environment. Through regional offices, we build coalitions, promote grassroots power, and train the next generation of environmental leaders.
The 2003 National Environmental Scorecard provides objective, factual information about the environmental voting records of all Members of the first session of the 108th Congress. This Scorecard represents the consensus of experts from 20 respected environmental and conservation organizations who selected the key votes on which Members of Congress should be graded. LCV scores votes on the most important issues of the year, including environmental health and safety protections, resource conservation, and spending for environmental programs. Scores are calculated by dividing the number of pro-environment votes by the total number of votes scored. The votes included in this Scorecard presented Members of Congress with a real choice on protecting the environment and help distinguish which legislators are working for environmental protection. Except in rare circumstances, the Scorecard excludes consensus action on the environment and issues on which no recorded votes occurred.
Give tax breaks for start-up farms for 10-year commitment.
Paul co-sponsored giving tax breaks for start-up farms for 10-year commitment
This bill amends the Internal Revenue Code to exclude from gross income 100% of the gain, up to $500,000, from the sale of qualified farm property to a first-time farmer who certifies that such property will be used for farming purposes for 10 years.
Allows a 50% exclusion for the sale of qualified farm property to any other person who certifies that such property will be used for farming purposes for 10 years.
Allows a 25% exclusion for the sale of qualified farm property to any other person for any other use.
Defines "qualified farm property" as real estate which is used for farming purposes for a specified three-year period and in which there was participation by the taxpayer or the taxpayer's family.
Source: Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Act (H.R.5134) 08-HR5134 on Jan 23, 2008
Make tax deduction permanent for conservation easements.
Paul signed H.R.1831 & S.812
Amends the Internal Revenue Code to make permanent the tax deduction for charitable contributions by individuals and corporations of real property interests for conservation purposes. Known in the Senate as the Rural Heritage Conservation Extension Act of 2009.
Source: Conservation Easement Incentive Act 09-HR1831 on Mar 31, 2009
Stop considering manure as pollutant or hazardous.
Paul co-sponsored Superfund Common Sense Act
Congressional Summary:Amends the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA) to exclude manure from the definition of "hazardous substance" and "pollutant or contaminant" for purposes of such Act. Defines "manure" to mean:
digestive emissions, feces, urine, urea and other excrement from livestock;
any associated bedding, compost, raw materials or other materials commingled with such excrement from livestock;
any process water associated with such items; and
any byproducts, constituents, or substances contained in, or originating from, such items or any emissions relating to such items.
Amends the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 to exempt from notification requirements releases associated with manure.
Opponent's Comments (Jim Ruen on AgProfessional.com, Oct. 3, 2011):
Since when can a fertilizer dealer operate without concern for environmental regulation and impact? Let's face it, we aren't talking about Ma and Pa Kettle with their six milk cows and three sows here spreading a load of manure on the back 40. We are talking about CAFO units with thousands of animals and tens of thousands or more tons/gallons of manure. While a few maybe spreading on their own land, most are selling it to area farmers. At a time when fertilizer dealers and companies have to be conspicuously careful with how they handle product, why shouldn't mega-livestock operators be equally regulated as they sell their "waste" product for its nutrient and soil building value. Since when do commercial N, P and K producers or handlers get a free ride from the EPA...or Congress?