State AG Defends … Lead Pipes?

State Ag Defends Lead Pipes

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When it comes to clean technology, it’s pretty easy to forget the technology we already have. Things like cleaner air, water that won’t kill you, and food that’s safe to eat all come from the technology of yesterday that we take for granted today. That having been said, the advances aren’t always shared evenly by everyone in society, with some parts of not only the developing world but even the United States still catching up.

Sadly, one of these areas is lead pipes. In most newer buildings in areas developed more recently, there are no lead pipes. Lead pipes would be cheaper and easier to work with, but the feds banned those decades ago. PVC and metal pipes reign supreme for new construction, but for older buildings and neighborhoods, the water that goes to the tap sometimes still has traces of lead from old pre-ban pipes.

You’d think there would be no opposition to doing whatever it takes to get those lead pipes replaced with something safer for human health, but sadly, you’d be wrong. It turns out that there are some conservatives whose lead pipes will have to be wrested from their cold, dead hands.

Kris W. Kobach, the attorney general for Kansas, wants us to be very concerned. Why? Because the globalist megamind Joe Biden (who’s somehow also a blubbering, incompetent old man) is planning on replacing lead pipes! GASP! The horrors!

He may actually be right to be concerned about costs and timetables, though. I mean, it’s the old “No bucks, no Buck Rogers” problem. We can’t hand-wave that issue away, obviously. And everyone on both sides of the aisle agrees that government moves slowly, so timetables must be realistic if we actually want something to happen.

If he had stopped at concerns about money, time, and bureaucratic efficiency, I’d have given him a pass and maybe even written an article explaining that the federal government should provide money that states can’t print, but he kept digging his hole deeper.

For one, there’s no such thing as “states’ rights.” There are, obviously, state powers as explained in the 10th Amendment, limited by the 14th Amendment, and further limited by state constitutions, but only people have actual bona fide rights. But, even if states had rights, they most certainly don’t have any right to force people to keep lead pipes or stop the federal government from having lead pipes removed. If Kansas doesn’t like that, they need to see if they can get the Supreme Court to overturn Wickard v Filburn and other cases that expanded federal power in the 1940s (a real possibility these days).

States' Rights To What? | Know Your Meme
A common internet meme about states’ rights and the question neo-confederates almost never answer. Fair Use.

But what was even more damning than making a spurious “states’ rights” argument was the pseudoscience he then used to attempt to justify taking a pro-lead pipe position. As the Community Note made clear, the benefits of not having your drinking water come in contact with lead are anything but speculative.

While this whole thing comes off to me as somewhat bizarre, there is a real problem on display here. No matter how far forward we move as a society, there are people who will bizarrely resist any and all technological change, no matter how beneficial and seemingly non-controversial.

This leaves us in the unfortunate position of not only needing to explain the benefits of newer things like EVs, solar panels, and wind power, but also having to explain to weirdos that things like lead pipes are indisputably bad for human health.

That puts a lot of work on us as a movement, but it’s work we have to keep putting in to make a better world.

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