Energy & Environment

Lindsey Graham Climate Dance with the Democrats

Sen. Lindsey Graham  (R-S.C.) has turned his back on the latest science, economics, the Republican Party, and American national security, by announcing his new partnership with Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) to find “the winning formula” to pass global warming cap-and-trade legislation.

Graham is now touting his view that man-made global warming fears are real and can be “solved” by passing Congressional cap-and-trade legislation. Graham teamed up with Sen. Kerry to write an October 11 New York Times op-ed explaining that the GOP and Democrats should “work together to address an urgent crisis facing the world.”

Graham has latched on to perhaps the silliest of all arguments and the most insulting to voters’ intelligence: that somehow passing a congressional climate bill will lead to fewer wars in the future.

Graham and Kerry wrote, “[W]e agree that climate change is real and threatens our economy and national security.”

“Even climate change skeptics should recognize that reducing our dependence on foreign oil and increasing our energy efficiency strengthens our national security,” Graham and Kerry asserted. On this point, Graham and Kerry are correct. But their claim that a top heavy cap-and-trade bill would accomplish those goals is contrary to all available evidence.

First off, even if we faced the man-made global warming catastrophe that Graham and Kerry seem so confident about, we would all be doomed if we relied on Congressional cap-and-trade to save us. The climate bill was declared “scientifically meaningless” by an analysis earlier this year. Most importantly, President Obama’s own EPA is now on record admitting that U.S. cap-and-trade bill “would not impact world CO2 levels.”

A Bloomberg News article on the Waxman-Markey bill’s impact on June 26, 2009 revealed U.S. oil companies may cope with the climate legislation by "closing fuel plants, cutting capital spending and increasing imports." Bloomberg also reported that "one in six U.S. refineries probably would close by 2020" and this could "add 77 cents a gallon to the price of gasoline." Far from providing “energy security,” cap-and-trade would make us more dependent on foreign sources of energy, according to the Bloomberg report. Obama advisor Warren Buffet told CNBC that cap-and-trade would also be a "huge" and "regressive" tax on Americans .

Global warming cap-and-trade would have a huge impact on congressional coffers. To understand all you need to know about the “science” of man-made global warming and the motivations of politicians to pass it, you need to look no further than Democrat Senator Ben Cardin of Maryland. In 2009, Cardin called cap-and-trade “the most significant revenue-generating proposal of our time.”  

In simple terms, what Graham is hailing as some sort of “solution” to the alleged climate “crisis” is nothing more than pure Washington fluff with a huge price tag and expansion of government controls on our lifestyles.  In short, it is all economic pain for no climate gain.
All of this while the science behind man-made climate fears continues in a freefall. In the past few months, we have witnessed U.N. scientists warning at U.N. meetings that global cooling is a now possible. Even the mainstream media — led by the BBC and the New York Times — is finally having their moment of clarity on man-made global warming. But Graham continues to binge on old scientific claims and empty economic promises. Global warming cap-and-trade has lost so much support that even Democrat Sen. Al Franken is bailing on the bill! In an August 6 letter with 9 other Democrats, Franken wrote a letter to Obama declaring that the U.S. “must not engage in a self-defeating effort.”

Enter Lindsey Graham to offer political cover for Democrats on cap-and-trade. Graham hopes to be able to add provision for expanded nuclear energy and drilling into the cap-and-trade bill and thus bring all sides together. Sadly, Graham knows that any promises about expanding drilling or nuclear energy can be rescinded in future years or road blocked in any number of ways. But once a cap-and-trade system is in place, it will be the nearest thing to eternal life here on Earth.

Graham tries to convince unenlightened Republicans that “killing a Senate [climate] bill is not success…given the threat of [EPA] regulation” of CO2 under the Clean Air Act. But Graham knows this is a straw man argument. The last thing the Obama administration or Congressional Democrats want to do is have EPA in charge of CO2 emissions. Former President Clinton’s Labor Secretary, Robert Reich, admitted this was a false threat on October 12, when he wrote: The EPA regulatory threat is “no real threat” because lawsuits would “keep the EPA tied up in litigation for years.”

Graham is also touting a new U.N. climate treaty, urging the U.S. to be “in the lead again” and “produce a new international agreement on global warming.”

Graham is hopelessly naive about climate science realities, cap-and-trade economics and environmental politics.  Sadly, he has morphed into  a media sycophant who pines for every opportunity to get noticed by the mainstream media — to hell with his home state voters’ wishes.

Graham’s Senate website claims he “is known as a leader who never abandons his independence or strays from the conservative reform agenda." Though Graham does have a conservative voting record overall, he has broken ranks with his home state voters and the GOP on key policy decisions (votes on immigration, the bank bailout and Justice Sotomayor’s confirmation) that differ from his political base.  

Graham’s embrace of the man-made global warming fear movement could literally snatch defeat from the jaws of victory when it comes to congressional cap-and-trade bills. Never underestimate the ability of rudderless Republicans like Graham to be the key difference in passing costly non-solutions to problems that do not even exist.

There exists in Washington pretenders who go along with the majority of beliefs of a political ideology or party platform just so they can bide their time — waiting to really have the most impact (or do the most damage) on the key issues that matter most to their internal ideology.

Ladies and gentleman, meet Sen. Lindsey Graham: The most crystal clear example of everything that is wrong with politics (and the Republican Party) in Washington today.


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