Rand Paul on Environment



Balance environmental safety with business deregulation

Counteracting excessively burdensome government regulations has become a centerpiece of my tenure in Washington. All my actions seek to find a balance between environmental, safety and health protection, without compromising the ability of family businesses to flourish.

Unelected bureaucrats should not have the power to enact regulations that affect the lives of everyday Americans. Whether it's ObamaCare or EPA regulations, cutting red tape and opening the regulatory process to scrutiny is an important step in holding government accountable to all Americans.

In the Senate, I proudly introduced the Regulations from the Executive Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act. This legislation is designed to increase accountability for and transparency in the Federal regulatory process.

As President, I will place common sense and reasonable limitations on a bureaucracy that seeks to target well-intentioned businesses with burdensome regulations.

Source: 2016 presidential campaign website, RandPaul.com, "Issues" , Apr 7, 2015

Hurricane Sandy relief ads were conflict of interest

Sen. Rand Paul and Gov. Chris Christie--both possible 2016 Republican presidential contenders--may be at odds again: During a Senate hearing on the federal response to Hurricane Sandy, Paul voiced his disproval of the way some have politicized television ads meant to garner support for recovery fund campaigns.

Though Paul did not address Christie by name, he railed against funding campaigns in New Jersey that heavily featured political candidates: "Some of these ads, people who are running for office put their mug all over the ads while they're in the middle of a political campaign," Paul said, adding that this could create "a conflict of interest," upsetting taxpayers who expect their dollars to be spent otherwise.

Christie appeared with his family in an ad encouraging people to visit the Jersey Shore over the summer. Paul was among 36 Senate Republicans to vote against a $50.5 billion Hurricane Sandy relief bill last year, later accusing Christie of "bankrupting the government."

Source: Huffington Post 2013 coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Nov 6, 2013

Hurricane recovery money is bankrupting the government

Asked Sunday about recent broadsides from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie ("this strain of libertarianism that's going through both parties right now and making big headlines, I think, is a very dangerous thought,") and New York Rep. Peter King ("When you have Rand Paul actually comparing [Edward] Snowden to Martin Luther King, Jr., or Henry David Thoreau, this is madness."), the Kentucky senator went there:

"They're precisely the same people who are unwilling to cut the spending, and their 'Gimme, gimme, gimme--give me all my Sandy money now.'" Paul said, referring to federal funding after the hurricane last year. "Those are the people who are bankrupting the government and not letting enough money be left over for national defense."

Paul said he wasn't the one itching for a fight: "I didn't start this one, and I don't plan on starting things by criticizing other Republicans," he said. "But if they want to make me the target, they will get it back in spades."

Source: Reason Magazine 2013 coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Jul 29, 2013

Our federal government regulates everything and anything

Ronald Reagan famously said, "The 9 most terrifying words in the English language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'" 3 decades later, American life is micromanaged at every imaginable level. Citizens' basic day-to-day activities are subject to government scrutiny. We endure a federal government that has invaded virtually every aspect of our lives--from light bulbs, to toilets, to lemonade stands and beyond.

Our federal government regulates everything and anything. How much water goes into you commode. How much water comes out of your showerhead. The temperature of the water in your washing machine. How many miles to the gallon your car must get.

Source: Government Bullies, by Rand Paul, p. xxiii , Sep 12, 2012

Citizens run afoul of vague definition of "wetlands"

The Clean Water Act never even mentioned the term "wetlands" while passing through Congress for approval. The unelected bureaucracy simply created the concept and defines it in distinct terminology dependent upon whatever scenario they are currently considering. "Wetlands" quite literally can mean whatever the EPA wants it to mean.

The definition of wetlands has become so absurd and transparent that the Army Corps of Engineers developed the "migratory bird theory." This theory states that if your land is a stopping point for any migratory bird that has traveled between real navigable waters, then your land is now de facto connected to the interstate navigable streams. I'm not kidding.

This theory is irrational & completely illogical. How did it ever become enforceable law? It happened because Congress has abdicated its duty in this area. Citizens often run afoul of these rules inadvertently due to the constant evolution of complex and unexplained regulations.

Source: Government Bullies, by Rand Paul, p. 19-20 , Sep 12, 2012

EPA regulations cost $15 trillion in 2012

Since its creation in 1970, the Environmental Protection Agency has done more harm than good. EPA regulations cost more than 5% of our annual gross domestic product (which was over $15 trillion in 2012). This is equivalent to the costs of defense and homeland security combined. Most Americans are unaware of this.

Too often our rights are violated by abusive and power-hungry EPA bureaucrats who use threats, coercion, and force to implement power grabs. I wish these instances of abuse were random and the exception, but they have unfortunately come to characterize what many Americans now rightly see as a rogue government agency. EPA regulations have hampered landowners' ability to manage their private property as they please and have seriously impaired job creation. As with the massive cost of the EPA, many Americans are unaware of the routine suffering caused by the overreach of such regulatory agencies.

Source: Government Bullies, by Rand Paul, p. 5-6 , Sep 12, 2012

EPA enforcement nullifies due process and judicial review

[The Sacketts were building their own home when the EPA ordered them to stop ]. They requested a hearing before the EPA where they could challenge the agency's claim that their property was a wetland. The EPA refused, claiming property owners have no right to a hearing regarding compliance orders. Throughout this waiting process, the daily $75,000 fine continued to accumulate.

However, they filed their own lawsuit in federal court, arguing that the Administrative Procedure Act entitled them to a hearing before a judge. Yet the Sixth and Fourth Circuits rejected any possibility of judicial review. Is this not a complete violation of the separation-of-powers principle? These circuit courts essentially handed the EPA free rein over innocent Americans and their private property. Our government was literally telling the Sacketts that in the US, you are free--unless the EPA decides to get involved, at which point your right to due process and private property becomes null and void.

Source: Government Bullies, by Rand Paul, p. 35-36 , Sep 12, 2012

Land rules made by delusional government interventionists

One landowner wishing to build a home on a 1.1-acre lot on the Monterrey Peninsula (CA) was required to attend 20-plus public hearings. This process took over 3 years and cost over $600,000.

During one of the dozens of hearings held regarding this property, an architectural review board member said, "In my former life as a seagull, I was flying up and down the California coastline and saw your house built shaped as a seashell." And because his house plan did not match the seashell-shaped house this board member envisioned in her previous life as a bird, she voted against approving any of his plans.

Some would argue this board member to be certifiably insane. This landowner's American dream and basic constitutional right to private property was stifled due to a person in a position of power who is delusional at best. This is literally crazy--and if this story does not illustrate the perils of power-hungry government interventionists, then I do not know what does.

Source: Government Bullies, by Rand Paul, p. 77-78 , Sep 12, 2012

Navigable waters should mean permanently flowing

What is a "navigable stream," exactly? Well, as one Corps agent admitted, "Whatever we say it is." The Supreme Court didn't define navigable waters, but it did say, at least, that citizens have the right to contest in court the Corps' assertions concerning what constitutes a wetland.

It remains a dangerous situation, though, because the definition of "navigable" is still nebulous and arbitrarily decided by the Corps. Congress has abdicated its responsibility to provide clear laws and guidelines for regulators and citizens to follow. I have introduced the Defense of the Environment and Property Act of 2012 in order to:

Source: Government Bullies, by Rand Paul, p. 90-92 , Sep 12, 2012

Voted NO on protecting ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes ecosystems.

Whitehouse Amdt. No. 803 to S.Amdt. 799 to S. 601 (Water Resources Development Act of 2013): To create the National Endowment for the Oceans to promote the protection and conservation of United States ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes ecosystems.

Proponent's Argument for voting Yes: Mr. WHITEHOUSE: This measure was part of the RESTORE Act, [but] this piece of it fell out of the bargain. If you supported the RESTORE Act, you have already supported this bill. If you believe that deals should be deals in the Senate, then you should support this bill. It is very important that we as a body support this bill. It does not create a single extra bureaucracy or person. It works within the existing government, and it adds no funding.

MississippiRiverDelta.org Summary of RESTORE Act: The Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States Act (RESTORE Act) dedicates 80% of all Clean Water Act penalties paid by those responsible for the 2010 gulf oil disaster to Gulf Coast restoration.

Proponent's press release supporting Yes vote: The National Endowment for the Oceans, Coasts, and Great Lakes Act would provide steady funding that universities, non-profit organizations, and government agencies can count on every year to support research and restoration projects. It would be funded primarily by dedicating 12.5% of revenues from offshore energy development, including oil, gas, and renewable energy. Revenue is generated through offshore lease sales and production based royalty payments. Funds from the Endowment would be distributed through a competitive grant program to fund projects to restore habitat, manage fisheries, plan for sustainable coastal development, enhance ocean monitoring and research activities, acquire coastal properties for preservation, and relocate critical coastal infrastructure.

Reference: National Endowment for the Oceans; Bill S.Amdt. 803 ; vote number 13-SV116 on May 8, 2013

Rated 20% by HSLF, indicating an anti-animal welfare voting record.

Paul scores 20% by the Humane Society on animal rights issues

112th Mid-Term Humane Scorecard: The Humane Society Legislative Fund has posted the final version of the 2011 Humane Scorecard, where you can track the performance of your federal lawmakers on key animal protection issues during last year. We rated legislators based on their voting behavior on measures such as agribusiness subsidies, lethal predator control, and the Endangered Species Act; their cosponsorship of priority bills on puppy mills, horse slaughter, animal fighting, and chimps in research; their support for funding the enforcement of animal welfare laws; and their leadership on animal protection. All of the priority bills whose cosponsorships we're counting enjoy strong bipartisan support; in the House, each of the four now has more than 150 cosponsors.

The Humane Scorecard is not a perfect measuring tool, but creating some reasonable yardstick and allowing citizens to hold lawmakers accountable is central to our work. When the Humane Scorecard comes out each year, it helps clarify how the animal protection movement is doing geographically, by party affiliation, and in other categories. It helps us chart our course for animals by seeing where we have been effective, and where we need to improve.

Source: HSLF website 12-HumaneS on Jan 13, 2012

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