Common Tragedies

Thoughts on Environmental Economics

Et tu Lindsey?

Posted by Tiffany Clements on January 27, 2010

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Grahamthe R in the D/R/I Senate’s tripartisan climate bill sandwich known as Kerry, Graham and Lieberman—is declaring the death of cap and trade in this New York Times article:

“Realistically, the cap-and-trade bills in the House and the Senate are going nowhere,” said Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, who is trying to fashion a bipartisan package of climate and energy measures. “They’re not business-friendly enough, and they don’t lead to meaningful energy independence.”

Mr. Graham said the public was demanding that any energy legislation from Washington focus on creating jobs, whether by drilling for offshore oil or building wind turbines.

“What is dead is some massive cap-and-trade system that regulates carbon in a fashion that drives up energy costs,” he said.

Not ready to let that be the last word, Sen. John Kerry told a clean energy forum cap and trade’s obituary is premature:

We have not scaled back our goals, they are the same,” Kerry said. “We have not recalibrated some lesser approach that is only energy or only this or that … We have to price carbon in order to get the marketplace moving properly.

According to the Reuters story, Graham is scheduled to speak later today at the same event. Talk about your all-time awkward greenroom chit-chat.

2 Responses to “Et tu Lindsey?”

  1. Angharad Morgan said

    Graham’s office today said that while his quote was accurate, it was taken out of context. The senator also released a prepared statement expanding on his comments in the Times article to explain that he is not satisfied with the climate and energy bills offered to date.

    “The energy legislation that was passed by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee is not strong enough to lead us to energy independence,” Graham said. “The climate change legislation passed by the House of Representatives and Senate Environment and Public Works Committee is too onerous on business and does not enjoy bipartisan support. My goal is to continue working with Senators Kerry, Lieberman and my Senate colleagues to create a new pathway forward that focuses on a more robust energy security package and a more business-friendly climate legislation.”

  2. Tiff Clements said

    You’re right, Angharad. The full statement is available here from Sen. Graham’s office. Mis-decontextualized or no, yesterday’s kerfuffle seems to have stirred something up in D.C. with Carol Browner standing firm behind a price on carbon and John Kerry striking a populist note, encouraging (effectively) tea-bagging for climate.

    Where there’s smoke, is there fire? I’ll defer to Dave Robert’s more-extensive (and tragically bunny-less) analysis of yesterday’s news.

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