Rand Paul uses toilets to argue Energy Department 'could be gotten rid of'

Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulOvernight Defense: Shanahan exit shocks Washington | Pentagon left rudderless | Lawmakers want answers on Mideast troop deployment | Senate could vote on Saudi arms deal this week | Pompeo says Trump doesn't want war with Iran Senators demand Trump explain decision to deploy troops amid Iran tensions Senators demand Trump explain decision to deploy troops amid Iran tensions MORE (R-Ky.) is doubling down on his allegation that nanny-state energy policies are screwing up America’s bathrooms.

Paul made waves last month when he lambasted an Energy Department official over various appliance efficiency standards, alleging they restrict consumers and saddle them with ineffective products — including toilets that Paul said don’t work in his house.

ADVERTISEMENT

He revived the criticism Thursday in an interview on the Fox Business Network, claiming that most of the Energy Department “could be gotten rid of.”

“It interferes with and takes away our choices on what kind of showers we want, what kind of toilets we want. What kind of light bulbs we want. But most of the Department of Energy is an impediment to producing energy. Not one barrel of oil is produced by the Department of Energy. But the Department of Energy stops a lot of oil from being produced,” Paul said.

(Most GOP criticism on oil production has centered on the Interior Department, which regulates oil companies’ access to federal lands and waters.)

Paul blasted appliance and lighting efficiency standards at a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing last month, accusing the federal government of a “busybody” nature that’s “insulting.”

“Frankly, my toilets don’t work in my house, and I blame you and people like you who want to tell me what I can install in my house, what I can do; you restrict my choices,” he told Kathleen Hogan, the deputy assistant secretary for energy efficiency, at the March 10 hearing.

A 1992 energy law set toilet water efficiency standards of 1.6 gallons per flush.

Paul said at the hearing that he supports energy conservation, but that such efforts should be voluntary.