Here’s Senator Rand Paul’s reply-letter to me. I asked him to explain why he was against increasing safety of the nations’ oil pipelines.
His response is not only batshiat crazy, he again demonstrates his open contempt for the environment. The bill in question is S.275, which concerns making oil pipelines more safe. Congress passed the bill over the summer and sent it to the Senate, where it now sits idol.
I don’t have a problem with Rand’s wanting the Senate to debate the bill publicly. If he’s serious, though, he should call the bill to the floor and stop fucking around.
Next, in his letter, and for no apparent reason, Rand plugs a new bill called the REINS Act. I have no idea why he wrote about this, or how it relates to S.275.
I noticed though, that the reason why he opposes S.275 is in direct opposition to the reason why he is for the REINS Act. He wrote that S.275 creates more bureaucracy, but then offers a bill that creates a massive one.
The act forces (basically) everything that Federal Agencies do to be reviewed by Congress. In other words, if the FDA wants to review a new cancer drug, Congress has to review and approve it. Say the EPA wants to regulate coal power pollution? Congress has to fist it first. Dept of Transportation wants to improve highways? Ask Congress in the face. FEMA hurricane response? Congress has to have hot preemptive sex with the disaster relief dismemberments. Mercury in fish? Screw scientists, ask Congress. Etc.
It is unclear to me why Rand would want to prevent oil pipeline safety review, but create an entirely new set of work rules for Congress that would cost billions of dollars to implement. Oh, now I remember… Cognitive dissonance, indeed.
“December 14, 2011
Dear Mr. Cote,
Thank you for taking the time to contact me regarding pipeline safety. I appreciate hearing from you on this issue.
In February 2011, Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) introduced the Pipeline Transportation Safety Improvement Act of 2011 (S. 275). This legislation would revise safety and environmental protections in pipeline transportation.
Though I believe safe gas and hazardous liquid pipelines are important, I have reservations about the particulars of the bill and the procedures used. Some of my colleagues in the Senate would like to pass this legislation without having a recorded vote, by using what is known as a unanimous consent agreement. I believe a bill such as S. 275, which directs the Secretary of the Department of Transportation (DOT) to grow in size and create more rules and regulations, should be required to have public debate and a roll call vote.
Regulations created by the departments and agencies of the Executive Branch have created an undue burden on businesses and job creation. In January 2011, I introduced the Regulations from Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act (S. 299). This legislation would require Congress to affirmatively approve every new major rule proposed by the Executive Branch, which has an annual economic impact of $100 million or more, before it can be enforced on the American people. S. 299 would allow for Congress to regain their Constitutional authority by limiting the size and scope of rule-making powers, without oversight, by the Executive Branch.
Thank you again for contacting me and feel free to contact me again with any federal issue in the future.
Rand Paul, MD
United States Senator