Sen. Paul Blocking Pipeline Safety All By Himself


Republican Sen. Rand Paul is single-handedly blocking legislation that would strengthen safety rules of oil and gas pipelines, despite the fact that the bill has industry support simply because he hates government.

In fact, Sen. Paul’s hatred of government runs so deep that his opposition to the bill didn’t change even after a gasline rupture shook three counties in his home state, Kentucky.

It was after a deadly gas pipeline explosion in a San Francisco suburb last year, and on the heels of other recent explosions and oil pipeline spills, that Congress and the oil and gas industry agreed an overhaul of federal safety regulations was in order.

The bill Sen. Paul opposes would authorize more federal safety inspectors, and pipeline companies would have to confirm that their records on how much pressure their pipelines can tolerate was accurate. The bill would also allow federal regulators to order that automatic shutoff valves be installed on new pipelines to halt leaks sooner. The provisions would expand pipeline inspections to rural areas and would all be paid for by industry fees.

Ideology may serve Sen. Paul well on the campaign trail, but it is doing zero good for his constituents or the rest of America. So far all the Tea Party has proven is its ability to get nothing done but obstruct bills that have the rare bipartisan support.

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Photo from gageskidmore via flickr.


Dianne Robertson
Dianne Robertson5 years ago

Senator Paul has a hereditary urge to take outrageous positions and make outlandish statements for the notoriety it brings him. Since his Daddy thinks he's cute and the KOCH Brothers are willing to pay him, he really doesnt give a fig for WHAT ANYBODY ELSE THINKS.Hopefully,those folks who were shaken by the pipeline's recent blast will check on Kentucky's voter supression law,get their Mother's birth certificate out ,have it notorized by a one legged notary-pharmacist AND VOTE EVERY TIME THEY HEAR THE POLL IS OPEN. WE ALL should do the same because if they can't ABOLISH it, they want to DEREGULATE it or PRIVATIZE it. Pretty soon, if we don't PAY ATTENTION the WHITE HOUSE will be a RAMADA INN and we'll have to pay the going rate for the president to live there!

Jean W.
Jean W.5 years ago

@Robin T.
Further to...your last comment and further down the linked article
"But as a practical matter, important but lesser measures like pipeline safety regulations that can't be approved quickly wind up languishing indefinitely."

Gayle J.
Gayle, J.5 years ago

I hope the people of KY feel good about electing this idiot. I guess they don't mind a few pipeline explosions now and again. We need regulations since the corrupt dirty energy companies will never regulate themselves if they don't have to. They'd rather their customers die than spend a little, tiny bit of extra money to operate safely.

the Other RobertO
Robert O.5 years ago

This is what scares me. A world with no regulation. A world where people and companies can do whatever harm they wish, regardless of people or place.

Donald B.
Donald Burnison5 years ago

Paul is certainly egotistical and possibly on the take from big corporations. He is but one example of an elected official who has taken money to be part of a radical element that would do anything to divide this nation in an effort to impede the function of our congress and their legislation to serve our democracy. Some would call this behavior racist or radical, but certainly unpatriotic. This loser should be sent to Afghanistan, but his kind rarely serve in the military where one must not only boast but back it up with actions devoted to a cause greater than their personal agenda.

Robin T.
R T.5 years ago

@Tamara D.
Don Stewart, a spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., pointed out that Democrats could still bring the bill to the floor for a vote if they have the 60 votes necessary to clear the procedural hurdles a single lawmaker can erect under Senate rules. McConnell hasn't objected to the use of expedited procedures to pass the bill.
Given the above. I rest my case.

D. Mindock
dean m.5 years ago

Somehow, I got a feeling that this is an out of context or incomplete report. It could be that there is some poisonous line in the bill that makes it a really bad bill. Congress critters do this all the time, inserting a line or two into a bill to get their way. Capp's Law was done this way, for example.

Joy Dantine
Joy Dantine5 years ago


Tamara D.
Tamara Dreier5 years ago

@Robin T. - Before jumping all over others for not thoroughly reading and/or thinking critically about the article, perhaps you should follow your own advice. The first link in the article explains precisely how a senator CAN single-handedly block a bill from going through, which you claim cannot be done. Had you read the linked article, you would know this.

Michael MacDonald

I said it before and I'll say it again.

Libertian is to liberal as scientology is to science.