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Rand Paul, Senator and no fan of polar bears

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Conservative Firebrand and US Senator Rand Paul doesn’t think climate change is a big deal. And he is sick and tired of the EPA trying to protect humans and animals from pollution and the dangers of a warming climate. Sick and tired.

Today, the US Senate held a vote brought to the floor by Rand Paul, using the the Congressional Review Act. The purpose was to overrule the EPA’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule. TRC has discussed this vote previously.

Well, the vote failed to pass in the Senate, 41-56. The move to repeal the regulation gained the support of 2 Democrats, while 6 Republicans voted against the measure. It wasn’t actually going to pass, despite the reporting of some optimistic Conservatives, who, like Paul, saw the vote as a chance to embarrass Democrats so badly that they couldn’t possibly uphold EPA regulation in the face of a recession, which, to say the least, just shows how myopic and tone-deaf Rand Paul’s political world is.

It’s worth reading how Paul addresses the issue. Some of what Paul cites is true, which he then uses to support blatantly false statements. This is the kind of thing that makes for a popular, and dangerous, politician. Here’s Paul:

“To have clean air and jobs, we must have balance,” Paul argued, contending that the EPA is wrong when it says 34,000 people will die prematurely every year if the cross-state air pollution rule does not go into effect, and that statistics show the air has already gotten much cleaner over the years.
And he slammed environmental advocates for ignoring such improvements.
“If you listen to the hysterics, you would think otherwise,” Paul said. “You would think that the Statue of Liberty will shortly be under water and the polar bears are all drowning, and that we’re dying from pollution. It’s absolutely and utterly untrue.”
“All of the statistics from the government — and these are statistics from the EPA — all of the statistics from the EPA show declining pollution,” he said...“I’m afraid what’s happened is we’ve opened up the White House and this administration to environmental extremists — the kind of people who say, ‘Well, the polar bears are drowning.’ “

Two quick notes to Paul.

  1.  Many many people are dying from pollution. I would not pretend otherwise.
  2. The claim “we’ve opened up the White House and this administration to environmental extremists” is so off the mark that it is almost adorable. The Obama Administration is much more inclined towards environmental concerns than, say, the Bush Administration. But that doesn’t take much. They are no extremists.
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Written by Christopher ZF

November 10, 2011 at 13:18

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