December 18, 2009
Graham Calls it Quits on Kerry-Lieberman
Not only did Lindsey Graham (R-SC) withdraw from talks surrounding a climate and energy bill eventually released by Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and Joe Lieberman (I-CT) in early May, yesterday he announced that he wouldn't vote for the legislation should Kerry and Lieberman successfully bring it to the Senate floor.
Graham cited disagreement over added restrictions on offshore drilling and doubt that the bill could ever get 60 votes on the Senate floor.
According to coverage by the National Journal (subs. req'd):
"What I have withdrawn from is a bill that basically restricts drilling in a way that is never going to happen in the future," Graham said. "I wanted it to safely occur in the future; I don't want to take it off the table."...
He said he will offer up later this year a "hodgepodge of ideas out there that I think form a potential pathway forward."
This includes introducing as early as this week a "clean energy" production standard that would include a "more aggressive definition of biomass" and give nuclear power the "same standing as other alternative energy sources." The standard needs to be higher to make these sources more deployable and financially attractive, he added.
Graham's announcement is likely the last nail in the coffin for cap and trade this year.