Rand Paul (Environmental)

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Paul's Environmental (section page)

Balancing Environmental Safety with 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." (OTI - E)

"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." (OTI - E)

"Our federal government regulates everything and anything. How much water goes into you commode. How much water comes out of your shower-head. The temperature of the water in your washing machine. How many miles to the gallon your car must get." (OTI - E)

Criticisms of EPA

Agency's Abuse of 'Wetlands' Term

"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." (OTI - E)

"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." (OTI - E)

High Costs of EPA's Regulations

"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." (OTI - E)

"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."(OTI - E)

EPA's Circumnavigation of Due Process and Judicial Review

[The Sacketts were building their 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." (OTI - E)

"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." (OTI - E)

Voting Record on Other Issues

  • Voted NO on protecting ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes ecosystems.
  • Rated 20% by The Humane Society Legislative Fund, indicating an anti-animal welfare voting record.

(OTI - E)

Support of Keystone XL Pipeline

"Washington's bureaucratic regulations, corporate subsidies, and excessive taxation have made it unnecessarily difficult for energy developers to take advantage of new and innovative forms of cheap and clean energy. Cutting the red tape and encouraging energy freedom, new technologies, and discoveries will be a priority in my administration. Like all other sectors of the economy, allowing businesses to compete in a free market will not only produce the most efficient forms of energy, but will also pass along the cost savings to the consumer. I support the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline and I have repeatedly voted to allow this project to proceed." (RPW - E)