Senator Graham (R-SC) told reporters Saturday that he was outraged at the idea that now immigration reform might be voted on before the climate and energy bill and is no longer unveiling it Monday as promised.
He has been working for weeks with Senators Kerry (D-MA) and Lieberman (I-CT) on making the climate and renewable energy bill just fossil-friendly-enough to actually hurdle the unethical 41 vote filibuster of all Democratic majority legislation routinely employed by Republicans since 2006 when they lost the majority in the Senate.
His frustration came because he had also spent weeks working with Democrats to make the immigration measure bipartisan and had not been alerted to the change in plans, moving the immigration vote first.
On Saturday night he said he can not now help unveil the long-awaited climate bill due Monday. But this could put it off till the new congress, when there will be several more Republicans in the Senate, ending the chances for US climate legislation indefinitely.
Senator Graham is unusual among recent Republicans. The party platform has become “small or no government”, preferably “drained out of a bathtub”. As a result, Republicans no longer go into office to enact good legislation, but to avoid it. “The Commons” is of no interest.
By contrast, Graham has been an outspoken advocate for good climate legislation. And he knows good governance from easy fixes. The alternative to comprehensive climate legislation, the “energy only” bill will not reduce emissions to the levels needed as it has no price for carbon.
He accurately framed that bill, when he said of the energy-only bill: “I’m not voting for some half assed bill.”
His claim is that if immigration is voted on first, he won’t have time to work on the climate bill. “Am I supposed to write every bill for the whole country?” Graham asked. “This comes out of left field.”
However, Graham, like all the Senators, has about 100 legislative aides who actually compose the legislation they vote Yea or Nay on. (Senators actually have to spend their time fund-raising: that’s just the way our wunnerful democracy works.)
Post-Copenhagen success at Cancun in November depends on the US passing the climate bill that will limit our carbon emissions 17% below 200115 by 2020, which this climate bill will do.
Graham’s 100 legislative aides have been doing literally planet-changing work, that affects not only his state constituents, but the future of all 6 billion of us living now, and however many of us in future generations who manage to survive the transition to “Eaarth”.
If you care about renewable energy or our climate future on earth, now is the time to let Graham know you’d like him to keep up the good fight, which you can do even if you are not his constituent, because climate legislation is good for all of us, not just those of us in South Carolina.
When you speak to his staffers, let them know how much you appreciate the good work they have done. His 100 hard working staffers need to hear from us now. The general switchboard is (202) 224 3121 – just ask for his office.
Image: Senator Graham with DOE Clean Energy Guru Secretary Chu
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