The Palmetto Insider

The blog of the South Carolina Policy Council

Sen. Graham Misguided in Approach to Climate Change

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South Carolina’s senior senator has been making national news over the past few days with his vocal support for the Kerry-Boxer Cap-and-Trade bill – essentially the Senate’s version of Waxman-Markey.

In a recent New York Times op-ed penned with Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, Sen. Lindsey Graham asserted we need climate change legislation in order to make our country energy independent.

Elaborating upon his remarks in the Times, the senator told Environment & Energy Daily :

“What if I took something you agree with, that this country had a lot of resources that need to be explored and extracted, and every barrel of oil that we can find off South Carolina with South Carolina’s permission, and natural gas deposits, make us more energy independent?”

Yet, as the Policy Council has reported, experts have indicated there are no significant oil and gas reserves off the South Carolina coast.  Likewise, a previous analysis of Waxman-Markey by the Beacon Hill Institute demonstrated that South Carolina will be harmed by climate change legislation from Washington. Among the findings:

  • Gross per-capita wages would fall by $322.53 annually by 2020 and $2,689.63 by 2050.
  • South Carolina stands to lose 1,763 jobs by 2020 and 20,605 jobs by 2050 if the Waxman-Markey bill passes.

What is most egregious about Graham’s support for the Senate global warming bill is the tradeoffs he is willing to make. Graham supports “the establishment of a floor and a ceiling for the cost of emission allowances.” This is just another way of saying he supports “Cap-and-Trade.”

Sen. Graham, of course, is right to call for the elimination of regulations over drilling and nuclear power. But there is no reason why one evil should be traded for another. He also correctly suspects the Environmental Protection Agency would create even greater problems if it is left to attempt to regulate the entire U.S. climate.

As the newly crowned Nobel Laureate Elinor Ostrom argues, common resources are best managed by organizations outside of the federal government. Permitting the government to attempt to regulate climate change (in effect, global weather) is to cede to federal and state bureaucrats unlimited power over our daily lives. On this, there can be no compromise.


Written by Geoff Pallay

October 13, 2009 at 12:17 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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