U.S. Senator Rand Paul

Kentucky U.S. Senator Rand Paul, above left, speaks with Marshall County Commissioner Bob Gold who is also a member of management at Westlake Chemicals Company during a meeting with representatives of local industry Tuesday afternoon at Calvert City Hall.

Sen. Rand Paul visits Calvert

CALVERT CITY- (Filed October 30, 2012) U.S. Senator Rand Paul made a stop Tuesday afternoon in Calvert City Hall to speak to members of the local industrial community about their concerns. He was introduced by Calvert City Mayor Lynn Jones who said Sen. Paul has done an awesome job for Kentucky in Washington.

Sen. Paul said he wanted to hear from those at the meeting about their problems with environmental problem. He said he believed the proof of loss of endangered species should be placed on the federal regulators and not local government, private landowners and businesses.

Marshall County Judge Mike Miller ask Sen. Paul if there was anything that could be done about ending the gridlock in Washington. Sen. Paul said the two parties were coming together on foreign policy in that they now agreed we need to come home from Afghanistan. He also said he believed we need a strong national defense but that America didn’t need to be every where all of the time.

Sen. Paul said we need to work on entitlements. It consumes two-thirds of the budget and soon it and the interest will be the entire budget. He said the retirement age for younger people like himself should go up a couple of months every year in order to increase the retirement age.

Brian Fite with Westlake Chemicals Inc. said, “One of the biggest fights we have today is the attack on coal.” He outlined his firm’s use of coal in the form of electric power.

Sen. Paul noted that America exports coal to China where there are no regulations on its use. He thought it was ironic that if the coal was burned here it would be better for the environment. He was also clear about his positions on environment regulations he said he wasn’t not in favor of lowering long standing regulations and wanted them to say in place where data showed drops in things like black lung. He said he does not favor increasing environmental regulations when the rules in place already showed positive changes.

Sen. Paul attacked subsidizing wind power and solar power by saying what we are doing is we are subsidizing something that is not profitable. He said it was much cheaper to generate electric power with coal than windmills.

Fite said he firm was struggling with new stricter air quality regulations. He said the Environmental Protection Agency had set the new regulations so strict no one in their industry can meet them.

Sen. Paul commented on the City of Grand Rivers’ struggle to get a new sewer plant. The project has been stalled for years because of a needed environmental study on mussels in the Cumberland River where the sewer outfall will be located, and another site study to determine if it was used by Native Americans. He said in the mean time every time there is a hard rain the existing treatment plant overflows and raw sewage runs into the river.

Paul said it should be harder to get a species on the endangered species list. He pointed out the Snail Darter, the tiny fish that delayed the Tellico Dam in Tennessee for years after it was nearly complete, was on the endangered species list for 20 years even after it was found commonly in other streams.