Rand Paul on Energy & Oil


Cut red tape to allow energy freedom & traditional energy

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.

The Obama Administration's hostile approach to traditional energy development must be stopped. As your President, I will be committed to developing a sound, innovative and safe energy policy.

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

Compete on the free market, including nuclear plants

Washington's bureaucratic regulations, corporate subsidies, and excessive taxation have made it unnecessarily difficult for energy developers to take advantage of these new forms of cheap and clean energy. It also distorts the marketplace, puts the brakes on innovation, and makes it impossible for companies to know what the most efficient solutions are. Is it surprising then that energy costs are on the rise?

We should be talking about energy freedom, new technologies, and discoveries. Instead the debate in Washington continues to be about how much we should subsidize solar or ethanol, and whether we should prohibit nuclear energy or coal. We should shift the debate and cut the red tape. Like all other sectors of the economy, allowing businesses and ideas to compete on the free market will not only produce the most efficient forms of energy, but will also pass along the cost savings to the consumer.

Source: 2015 official Senate website www.paul.senate.gov , Jan 15, 2015

Develop mineral & energy resources on public lands

My 2014 budget proposal would accelerate domestic resource development on public lands. For two generations, it has been the policy of the US government to deny its citizens access to the energy resources they own. Either these public land holdings need to be sold off to the states to manage, or the government should unlock its massive mineral wealth by fostering a process of efficient, safe and effective energy development. No matter which course is chosen, creativity, ingenuity and competition is what drives an energy sector forward. We must seek a more realistic balance in our approach to energy development on public lands.
Source: 2015 official Senate website www.paul.senate.gov , Jan 15, 2015

Supports Keystone XL, plus domestic oil & gas exploration

My plan would also approve the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. I have consistently and repeatedly voted to allow this project to proceed. Rather than create thousands of new jobs, expand America's refining capacity, and strengthen our unique partnership with neighboring Canada, President Obama has elected instead to block any progress on building the Keystone XL, in stark contrast to the "all-of-the-above" approach to energy production he claims to support.

By allowing domestic oil, gas and mining exploration to proceed while encouraging the competitive development of alternative, renewable energy sources, I believe that the principles I have set forth in my budget plan are a significant improvement over the Obama Administration's hostile approach to traditional energy development. As a U.S. Senator, I am committed to doing what is not only best for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, but also the United States as a whole in developing a sound energy policy.

Source: 2015 official Senate website www.paul.senate.gov , Jan 15, 2015

Test older gas pipelines for explosion safety

Eight people died in a terrible pipeline explosion in San Bruno, CA, in 2010. Politicians in Washington are quick to jump at the first possible moment to "fix" a problem. But these politicians often take action so hastily that they mistake identifying the actual problem.

Senators Boxer and Dianne Feinstein's bill exempted old pipelines from the new rules. This meant that the over 50-year-old San Bruno pipeline itself would be exempt from the new rules.

We discovered a 1985 report on two fatal explosions in Kentucky, which specifically stated the need to end the exemption of older pipelines from standard regulations. This reform never happened, and 26 years later, Boxer and Feinstein's legislation would have simply papered over the problem again.

We won this battle to include a requirement for testing of the older pipelines. Just weeks later, this test discovered another faulty part, in a different section, of the San Bruno pipeline that had previously exploded.

Source: Government Bullies, by Rand Paul, p. xxxii-xxxiv , Sep 12, 2012

End subsidies to solar companies; they're donation kickbacks

The export-import bank is subsidizing [some] start-up companies. One of them is called First Solar. You may have heard that a lot of these solar companies are big contributors to President Obama. I wonder if that has something to do with them getting loans. But here is the loan that First Solar gets from export-import.

You know what? They get paid and they have a loan that says that they're going to make solar panels, and then who is going to buy the solar panels? Themselves. They made a deal with another company they own, and the taxpayers are stuck financing a loan, so First Solar can make solar panels and then buy them from themselves. Well, that sounds like a good deal. You get the government to subsidize a loan to buy your own product.

Source: 2012 official Senate press release, "Subsidizing MNCs" , Mar 20, 2012

Unelected EPA should not regulate greenhouse emissions

Q: Dr. Paul, you believe the government should stay out of the private sector. You said, "Get rid of regulations. Get the EPA out of our coal business down here. Get OSHA out of our small businesses." Is there no role for government in protecting our environment?

PAUL: It's a combination of federal, state and local regulations. Which way do we want to shift the debate. Do we want more federal or more local? We now have an EPA that is writing rules, saying, "If Congress doesn't pass greenhouse emissions testing, we will simply do it on our own." I think the arrogance of unelected bureaucrats to say that they create law needs to come to an end. We need to say to unelected bureaucrats, "You do not make regulations. You do not write regulations."

CONWAY: I'm against cap and trade, too. Always have been.

Q: Well, that's not true. You supported the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill back in 2009.

CONWAY: No, I didn't. I have said I'm always going to protect coal.

Source: Fox News Sunday, 2010 Kentucky Senate debate , Oct 3, 2010

Energy crisis stems from too much government intervention

If we leave our energy policy to the special interests in Washington, we will never solve our energy problems. Our energy crisis stems from too much government intervention. The solution requires allowing businesses and ideas to compete.
Source: 2010 Senate campaign website, www.randpaul2010.com, "Issues" , Jul 19, 2010

Voted YES on barring EPA from regulating greenhouse gases.

Congressional Summary:To prohibit the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency from promulgating any regulation concerning the emission of a greenhouse gas to address climate change. The Clean Air Act is amended by adding a section entitled, "No Regulation of Emissions of Greenhouse Gases". In this section, the term 'greenhouse gas' means any of the following:
  1. Water vapor
  2. Carbon dioxide
  3. Methane
  4. Nitrous oxide
  5. Sulfur hexafluoride
  6. Hydrofluorocarbons
  7. Perfluorocarbons
  8. Any other substance subject to, or proposed to be subject to regulation to address climate change.
The definition of the term 'air pollutant' does not include a greenhouse gas, except for purposes of addressing concerns other than climate change.

Proponent's Argument for voting Yes:
[Sen. McConnell, R-KY]: The White House is trying to impose a backdoor national energy tax through the EPA. It is a strange way to respond to rising gas prices. But it is perfectly consistent with the current Energy Secretary's previously stated desire to get gas prices in the US up to where they are in Europe.

Opponent's Argument for voting No:
[Sen. Lautenberg, D-NJ]:We hear the message that has been going around: Let's get rid of the EPA's ability to regulate. Who are they to tell us what businesses can do? Thank goodness that in this democratic society in which we live, there are rules and regulations to keep us as a civilized nation. The Supreme Court and scientists at the Environmental Protection Agency agreed that the Clean Air Act is a tool we must use to stop dangerous pollution. This amendment, it is very clear, favors one group--the business community. The Republican tea party politicians say: "Just ignore the Supreme Court. Ignore the scientists. We know better." They want to reward the polluters by crippling EPA's ability to enforce the Clean Air Act.
Status: Failed 50-50 (3/5

Reference: Energy Tax Prevention Act; Bill Am183 to S.49 ; vote number 11-SV054 on Apr 6, 2011

Signed the No Climate Tax Pledge by AFP.

Paul signed the No Climate Tax Pledge

No Climate Tax Pledge: "I pledge to the taxpayers of my state, and to the American people, that I will oppose any legislation relating to climate change that includes a net increase in government revenue."

Sponsoring organizations: Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEU); National Taxpayers Union (NTU); Institute for Liberty Americans for Prosperity (AFP) is a nationwide organization of citizen-leaders committed to advancing every individual's right to economic freedom and opportunity. AFP believes reducing the size and intrusiveness of government is the best way to promote individual productivity and prosperity for all Americans.

Source: AFP website 10-AFP on Nov 2, 2010

Supports renewable energy tax credits.

Paul supports the CC survey question on renewable energy tax credits

The Christian Coalition voter guide [is] one of the most powerful tools Christians have ever had to impact our society during elections. This simple tool has helped educate tens of millions of citizens across this nation as to where candidates for public office stand on key faith and family issues.

The CC survey summarizes candidate stances on the following topic: "Tax credits for investment in renewable sources of energy, (such as wind, solar & biomass)"

Source: Christian Coalition Survey 10-CC-q18 on Aug 11, 2010

Cap-and-trade has no impact on global temperatures.

Paul signed the Contract From America

The Contract from America, clause 2. Reject Cap & Trade:

Stop costly new regulations that would increase unemployment, raise consumer prices, and weaken the nation's global competitiveness with virtually no impact on global temperatures.

Source: The Contract From America 10-CFA02 on Jul 8, 2010

Explore proven energy reserves & keep energy prices low.

Paul signed the Contract From America

The Contract from America, clause 8. Pass an 'All-of-the-Above' Energy Policy:

Authorize the exploration of proven energy reserves to reduce our dependence on foreign energy sources from unstable countries and reduce regulatory barriers, [to keep energy prices low].

Source: The Contract From America 10-CFA08 on Jul 8, 2010

Let states lease energy rights on federal lands.

Paul co-sponsored Federal Land Freedom Act

Congressional Summary:Authorizes a state to establish a program covering the leasing and permitting processes, regulatory requirements, and any other provisions by which the state would exercise its rights to develop all forms of energy resources on available federal land in the state.

Proponent's argument for bill: (The Heritage Foundation): This important piece of legislation would allow state control of energy resources on federal lands. America has harnessed technological advances in recent years in drilling and extracting energy resources that have caused a surge in domestic oil and gas in several areas of the country. Most of that production has occurred on private and state-owned lands, not federal lands where output has been on decline. The benefits of transferring power to the states over their own energy decisions: States have an interest in both boosting their economies by tapping into the energy resources available to them and protecting the environment. More importantly, they are best suited to fulfill these two goals, not the federal government.

Opponent's argument against bill:(The Wilderness Society): Oil and gas development can do serious damage to wildlands and waters, especially when it takes place in sensitive areas. The federal government began leasing public lands for energy development in 1920. We see energy development as a valid use of some public lands, but there are some wild places that must be protected. We work to ensure that the most stringent environmental precautions are applied when oil and gas development occurs on our public lands and that development does not happen in fragile wild areas. The Wilderness Society also makes sure that our most ecologically sensitive areas, such as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, remain permanently off limits to oil and gas companies.

Source: H.R.2511/S.1233 13-S1233 on Jun 26, 2013

Endorsed Liberty Candidate: tax incentives for US-based alternatives.

Paul is endorsed by Congressional endorsement list

A Liberty Candidate will Defend the Great American Principles of Free Markets and Constitutional Government, [such as the views of] Peter Schiff, Senate 2010 candidate from Connecticut, on the Economy: "Strong fiscally conservative principles and beliefs that our economic recovery should be left to the free market through businesses and individuals--not the federal government."

And [such as the views of] Michael McPadden, Congress 2010 candidate from Virginia, on Energy: "I favor tax incentives for alternative energy, but I oppose subsidies, which has the effect of allowing the government to choose winners and losers. I favor tax incentives for research into finding cheaper liquefaction and gasification processes for coal. The private businesses that would be involved in the exploration and development of these American energy sources would also be creating real, high paying, permanent jobs for real Americans in real congressional districts."

Source: 2010 Congressional endorsement list 2010-LC-EO on Sep 1, 2010

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Page last updated: Aug 16, 2015