EPA-hating Tea Partier wins in Kentucky

Rand Paul

Rand Paul. Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr

Rand Paul isn’t just a Tea Party favorite, he’s a likely senator from a coal state who hasn’t hesitated to abuse the Environmental Protection Agency in order to turn voters’ fear to his political advantage.

He’s now the Republican nominee for the open Senate seat in Kentucky, the state that has already given us Mitch McConnell.

The son of Ron Paul, Rand Paul trounced his primary opponent, Kentucky  Secretary of State Trey Grayson, who enjoyed the endorsements of McConnell, Dick Cheney, and other establishment Republicans.

When the Montcoal, West Virginia, coal mine collapsed in  April, Rand Paul was on a “Tea Party Bus Tour” denouncing the EPA for being “out of control.” Grayson wouldn’t have been much better for the EPA; he claimed the agency had “declared war on all of Kentucky.”

While President Obama’s support among progressives has eroded as he has conceded to oil, coal, and nuclear interests, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson has remained popular.

If Rand Paul survives Kentucky’s general election, and it seems likely he will, the effort to paint Jackson as an activist may gain traction and volume. Which is just another way of saying that the window for addressing America’s contribution to climate change may have closed.

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