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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