As we mentioned yesterday, Rand Paul’s resolution to block the EPA’s effort to limit cross-state pollution from power plants died a bipartisan death in the Senate.
The American Lung Association came out strongly against the resolution, citing how this would be a devastating blow harming the fight against children’s asthma, and how the EPA rules will “prevent up to 34,000 premature deaths, 400,000 asthma attacks, 15,000 heart attacks, and 19,000 hospital visits each year starting in 2014.”
Rand Paul, in response to those figures, conjured up yet another one of his conspiracy theories, making all of us Kentuckians so proud once again:
At one point Paul questioned the American Lung Associations’ (ALA) conclusion that pollution is behind a rise in asthma and suggested the $5 million in funding it takes from the EPA each year might be bending the results of its studies.
Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) demanded an apology from Paul for the ALA assertion.
“I think the senator owes an apology to the ALA for making it sound like they are for air pollution rules because they are getting some sort of payoff,” she said, her voice rising. “It’s an outrage, a complete outrage.”
LEO Weekly spoke with Paul Billings, the American Lung Association’s vice president of national policy and advocacy, about the slanderous charge against them:
The American Lung Association wins competitive grants from the EPA and CDC and other federal agencies. These are grants that are open to all appropriate organizations. And most of the grants are for things like helping kids and parents better manage children’s asthma, helping make schools more asthma friendly for kids dealing with asthma triggers. So his charge is baseless. We have at times strenuously agreed with the EPA, and we have at times strenuously disagreed with the EPA. But our public policy positions are established by our board of directors, and our grants are not related to our public policy positions at all.
When you work on issues like clean air and tobacco, you end up sometimes where people who disagree with you, when they can’t win arguments on the facts, attack the messenger. So that’s not the first time we’ve tangled with a senator and probably won’t be the last.
I wouldn’t expect an apology from Rand Paul any time soon if I was Billings, because that’s just how he and Liberty roll.