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According to Bloomberg Markets, Rand Paul's third largest campaign contributor was ordered to pay $296 million to the family of a teenage girl who was killed when a butane pipeline operated by the company exploded. The damages awarded by the jury were so high because the company "acted with malice because it had been aware of the extreme risks of using the faulty pipeline." The girl's father watched in horror as his daughter and her friend were burned to death in the explosion.

The same campaign contributor, according to Bloomberg, paid $35 million to settle two lawsuits over pipeline leaks that caused over 300 oil spills in six states.

Last week, in a story that was widely reported about Rand Paul's single-handed blocking of a new pipeline safety bill, the Associated Press reported that "Officials familiar with Paul’s objections said he has told lobbyists and company officials that he’s not opposed to any specific part of the bill, just to the notion of additional federal regulation."

Now the question has to be asked whether Rand Paul's actions are grounded in his libertarian distaste for government regulation, or whether they are a nod to the sensitivities of one of his most important campaign contributors.

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Louisville.com's The Arena section features opinions from active participants in the city's politics. Their viewpoints are not those of Louisville.com (a website is an inanimate object and, as such, has no opinions).

Photo: courtesy of newmy51

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Keith Rouda's picture

About Keith Rouda

I'm a news junkie and politics addict. I stay up way past my bedtime to watch election returns come in. My free time is spent with MoveOn.org advocating for progressive policies. I have an MBA from Sullivan University and have worked in small businesses and large, in fields ranging from advertising, to health care, to information technology, to talent acquisition, to industrial quality. I moved to Louisville in 1995 and haven't looked back.

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