Energy Quote of the Day: Lindsey Graham, Climate Hawk?

on June 08, 2015 at 3:00 PM
lindsey graham

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) campaigning in Iowa last week. Photo from Facebook.

Lindsey Graham has had a bit of a confused relationship with climate change. In 2009, he joined with his then-Senate colleagues John Kerry and Joe Lieberman in crafting a climate bill, only to withdraw his support when it came time to make a big push for it.

But it looks like Candidate Graham – he announced a week ago, you’ll recall – is back on a climate-change acceptance bus that many Republican presidential contenders refuse to ride.

BASH: What would you do differently than many of your Republican opponents?

GRAHAM: Here’s a question you need to ask everybody running as a Republican: what is the environmental policy of the Republican policy? When I ask that question, I get a blank stare.

We don’t have an environmental policy. We have an energy policy. If I’m president of the United States, we’re going to address climate change, CO2 emissions in a business-friendly way. We’re going to find oil and gas that we own because we’re going to use fossil fuels for a long time to come, but it’s okay to set lower carbon targets.

I do believe that climate change is real. I want a business solution to that problem –

BASH: Man-made climate change?

GRAHAM: Yes, I do. Absolutely. When 90 percent of the doctors tell you you’ve got a problem, do you listen to the one? At the end of the day, I do believe that the CO2 emission problem all over the world is hurting our environment. But the solution is a pro-business solution to a lower-carbon economy. — Graham in an interview with CNN’s Dana Bash this past weekend

Of course, “in a business-friendly way” leaves lots of wiggle room for Graham, who has definitely shown he can wiggle on this issue. Still, he’s clearly staking a more progressive position than the front-runners – the utterly confused Jeb Bush and the nonsensical Marco Rubio.