Graham won’t bow to “political push back”: “I have come to conclude that greenhouse gases and carbon pollution [are] not a good thing.”

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"Graham won’t bow to “political push back”: “I have come to conclude that greenhouse gases and carbon pollution [are] not a good thing.”"

“I am convinced that reason, logic and good business sense, and good environmental policy, will trump the status quo.”

picture        When we last left Lindsey Graham, the conservative Senator from South Carolina was being censured again (!) by a SC county party for trying to create clean energy jobs in the state, clean its air and reduce the nearly $1 billion a day we ship overseas to buy oil, “some of which finds its way to extremist or terrorist organizations.”

On Tuesday, he pushed back:

U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham renewed his call Tuesday for federal controls on greenhouse gas pollution, despite continued criticism from the Republican Party’s most conservative members.  Graham, R-S.C., backs legislation to crack down on carbon dioxide pollution, which he said will also boost the U.S. economy and reduce the nation’s dependence on foreign oil.

He dismissed his censure as the ‘misplaced priorities‘ of narrow interests within the larger Republican Party, asserting, “The man who authored the resolution has never voted for a Republican nominee for president in the history of his life,” and is “the head of the Ron Paul movement in this part of South Carolina.”

Then Graham went on to make a very strong pitch for climate action, while “speaking to more than 100 people at a climate change conference in Columbia”:

Graham said Congress needs to act to control greenhouse gases or the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will adopt its own regulations.

With polar ice caps melting and air pollution a threat, it’s also good for the world and the nation, he said.

“I have come to conclude that greenhouse gases and carbon pollution is not a good thing,” Graham said. “All the cars and trucks and plants that have been in existence since the Industrial Revolution, spewing out carbon day-in and day-out, will never convince me that’s a good thing for your children and the future of the planet.”

Graham’s comments came a day after the Lexington County Republican Party voted to censure him, in part for supporting federal cap-and-trade legislation. He has been a leader in the push and has worked with leading Democrats. A cap-and-trade system is supposed to limit pollution by requiring companies that want to emit more than certain amounts of greenhouse gases to buy credits from those producing lower amounts. Some critics have complained bitterly about the costs to businesses of cap-and-trade legislation.

But Graham said controlling carbon pollution “is a worthy endeavor” that would, in addition to attacking the problem of rising global temperatures, clean up the nation’s air and water.

He also explained reiterated the national security argument for his bipartisan climate and clean energy jobs bill:

Moving away from the nation’s reliance on foreign oil will create more demand for other energy sources and create a new energy economy for the U.S., he said. It’s also good for national security, since many nations that sell oil are hostile to the U.S., he said. Although some environmentalists oppose offshore oil drilling and the expansion of nuclear power, Graham said both can be done cleanly. “Whatever political push back I get I’m willing to accept because I know what I’m trying to do makes sense to me,” Graham said. “I am convinced that reason, logic and good business sense, and good environmental policy, will trump the status quo.”

What a minute?  Graham is “convinced that reason, logic and good business sense, and good environmental policy, will trump the status quo”?  And you all think I’m an optimist!  Let’s hope he’s right.

Photo from Rich Glickstein/rglickstein@thestate.com /The State.

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8 Responses to Graham won’t bow to “political push back”: “I have come to conclude that greenhouse gases and carbon pollution [are] not a good thing.”

  1. mike roddy says:

    I salute Senator Graham’s courage and vision.

  2. William Maddox says:

    His vision does seem to have improved ……….. at least in this respect.

    Bill Maddox

  3. Leif says:

    A little slow to be counted. Better late than never, unless of course you are TOO late!

  4. clarkbeast says:

    Thank you, Senator Graham. Can you mosey over the state line and come beat some sense into Saxby and Johnny?

  5. Tim L. says:

    John “Drill, baby, drill” McCain just might lose his bogus “maverick” moniker to Graham. Kudos to Graham for standing up to the right-wing idiots.

  6. Leif says:

    What a novel approach to re-election win next time for the GOP! (Head slap!) Support some honest to goodness, socially beneficial, sustainable solutions to problems that plague us, (all humanity), …. For the GOOD OF US ALL! Now if he can keep from being a “flip flopper” he is a shoe in. But then he would HAVE to walk the WALK. Get it in writing thou, recent experience does not preclude reneging.

  7. Dan B says:

    It’s amazing to slice and dice his statements from a branding and communication perspective.

    1. It’s ‘unexpected’ – GOP conservative vs. “status quo”, gets attention and is certain to richochet around new media / the blogosphere..
    2. His words are concrete: “All the cars and trucks and plants that have been in existence since the Industrial Revolution, spewing out carbon day-in and day-out, will never convince me that’s a good thing for your children and the future of the planet.” In short: Ugly pollution vs. beautiful kids = bad future.
    3. Simple: no big words, short sentences (mostly – his long sentences are clear) and the message “never convince me” – Do you feel he’s going to back down? Or is he – itching for a fight? Sounds like a toned down “make my day” / “bring it on”. Democrats beware – spineless equivocating statements don’t register. Who wants someone making “nice” when your children are in danger?

    The best part is his example may provide the moral courage (or cover) our “bipartisan” Democrats have needed.

  8. Leif says:

    Dan B: Gosh, gee- whiz! (Another head slap)… Do you think that that Bipartisan Democrats might be interested in appealing to “Moderate” Republicans? With the same “good will toward humanity approach”? What a novel idea… And hay, if other Republicans are doing it?… It might just work! The learning curve will be steep but you folks are making $200K a year and Public Option health benefits. Think about humanity…