Lindsey Graham on Energy & Oil

Republican Sr Senator; previously Representative (SC-3)


I'm no scientist, but 90% of them say climate change is real

I've talked to the climatologists of the world, and 90 percent of them are telling me that greenhouse gas effect is real. That we're heating up the planet. I want a solution that would be good for the economy.
Source: GOP "Your Money/Your Vote" 2015 CNBC 2nd-tier debate , Oct 28, 2015

Stop debating about climate science; debate about solutions

Q: You worked with Democrats on climate change. How can conservative Republicans trust you based on that record?

GRAHAM: You can trust me to do the following: that when I get on stage with Hillary Clinton, we won't be debating about the science, we'll be debating about the solutions. In her world, cap-and-trade would dominate, that we will destroy the economy in the name of helping the environment. In my world, we'll focus on energy independence and a clean environment. When it comes to fossil fuels, we're going to find more here and use less. Over time, we're going to become energy independent. I am tired of sending $300 billion overseas to buy oil from people who hate our guts. The choice between a weak economy and a strong environment is a false choice, that is not the choice I'll offer America. A healthy environment, a strong economy and energy independent America--that would be the purpose of my presidency--break the strangle hold that people enjoy on fossil fuels who hate our guts.

Source: Fox News/Facebook Second Tier debate transcript , Aug 6, 2015

Combat climate change without harming the economy

Graham sees climate change as a real event and believes it is at least partially man-made. In 2010, he worked with then-Senator John Kerry and energy companies to try and craft a market system that set some limits on carbon emissions. Following the BP oil spill, those talks fell apart, but Graham still supports the general idea. Graham has called for a debate among Republicans on how to combat climate change without harming the economy.
Source: PBS News Hour "2016 Candidate Stands" series , Jun 1, 2015

Greenhouse gas is a problem; but EPA shouldn't regulate it

In June of 2010, Senator Murkowski introduced a resolution that would prevent the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases under the authority of the Clean Air Act. The resolution would allow Congress to overturn regulations from the executive branch by gaining a majority in both the House and Senate.

At a press conference to discuss the resolution, several Republicans came together in opposition to EPA's greenhouse gas regime, even Senator Graham who still believed in his heart that man-made greenhouse gases were leading to catastrophe. I was on the other end of the spectrum as the one who said that man-made catastrophic global warming is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people. Everyone else who was standing up there with me and Senator Graham were somewhere in between. But we all agreed on one thing: EPA regulation of greenhouse gases would be a huge disaster. It would hand the agency the greatest regulatory power in industry.

Source: The Greatest Hoax, by James Inhofe, p.155 , Feb 28, 2012

Voted YES on barring EPA from regulating greenhouse gases.

Congressional Summary:To prohibit the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency from promulgating any regulation concerning the emission of a greenhouse gas to address climate change. The Clean Air Act is amended by adding a section entitled, "No Regulation of Emissions of Greenhouse Gases". In this section, the term 'greenhouse gas' means any of the following:
  1. Water vapor
  2. Carbon dioxide
  3. Methane
  4. Nitrous oxide
  5. Sulfur hexafluoride
  6. Hydrofluorocarbons
  7. Perfluorocarbons
  8. Any other substance subject to, or proposed to be subject to regulation to address climate change.
The definition of the term 'air pollutant' does not include a greenhouse gas, except for purposes of addressing concerns other than climate change.

Proponent's Argument for voting Yes:
[Sen. McConnell, R-KY]: The White House is trying to impose a backdoor national energy tax through the EPA. It is a strange way to respond to rising gas prices. But it is perfectly consistent with the current Energy Secretary's previously stated desire to get gas prices in the US up to where they are in Europe.

Opponent's Argument for voting No:
[Sen. Lautenberg, D-NJ]:We hear the message that has been going around: Let's get rid of the EPA's ability to regulate. Who are they to tell us what businesses can do? Thank goodness that in this democratic society in which we live, there are rules and regulations to keep us as a civilized nation. The Supreme Court and scientists at the Environmental Protection Agency agreed that the Clean Air Act is a tool we must use to stop dangerous pollution. This amendment, it is very clear, favors one group--the business community. The Republican tea party politicians say: "Just ignore the Supreme Court. Ignore the scientists. We know better." They want to reward the polluters by crippling EPA's ability to enforce the Clean Air Act.
Status: Failed 50-50 (3/5

Reference: Energy Tax Prevention Act; Bill Am183 to S.49 ; vote number 11-SV054 on Apr 6, 2011

Voted YES on protecting middle-income taxpayers from a national energy tax.