There has been a small debate on this blog about Ron Paul and his environmental policies. It all started when I created a post on the 2008 Candidates and their enviro-platforms. I neglected to include Paul, which drew criticism. So I searched his website for a description of his views on this subject and came up empty. The only information available was his voting record, which I posted. That was also criticised because Paul's votes can be misleading due to his Libertarian view of minimal government intervention. I did promise to continue searching for concrete descriptions of Paul's views and I have finally found what I was looking for.
The Internet environmental magazine Grist.com is interviewing each of the 2008 presidential candidates on their energy/environmental platform. They interviewed Ron Paul about a week ago. To read the full interview and hear a recorded portion of it, click HERE.
I have pasted below some highlights of the interview that I found interesting. I hope this clears up some of the confusion over where he stands on these issues.
- "The government shouldn't be directing research and development because they are bound and determined to always misdirect money to political cronies. The government ends up subsidizing things like the corn industry to develop ethanol and it turns out that it's not economically feasible. So, my answer to energy is to let the market work."
- "Private property owners have a much better record of taking care of the environment. If you look at the common ownership of the lands in the West, they're much more poorly treated than those that are privately owned. In a free-market system, nobody is permitted to pollute their neighbor's private property -- water, air, or land. It is very strict."
- "Certainly, any time there's injury to another person, another person's land, or another person's environment, there's [legal] recourse with the government. "
- "The EPA assumes you might do something wrong; it's a bureaucratic, intrusive approach and it favors those who have political connections."
- "When all forms of physical trespass, be that smoke, particulate matter, etc., are legally recognized for what they are -- a physical trespass upon the property and rights of another -- concerns about difficulty in suing the offending party will be largely diminished. When any such cases are known to be slam-dunk wins for the person whose property is being polluted, those doing the polluting will no longer persist in doing so. "
- "My favorite thing is riding bicycles, and at home my hobby is raising tomatoes. I live on the San Bernard River in Texas and I belong to an environmental group that works very, very hard to protect the natural aspects of that river."
- "I'm just always aware of doing anything damaging to the environment. I don't think I do anything that damages it at all. I don't ride my bike because I think I'm destroying the environment by driving my car; I ride it because it's a great way to be outdoors and enjoy the environment."