Lindsey Graham: Gulf Spill Means no Climate Bill

Lindsey Graham: A Puzzling Man

The politics of the BP oil spill keep getting more confusing.

Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., is saying that the spill has prompted President Obama to finally get on board with the American Power Act and “thump the bully pulpit to urge Senate action” at a meeting with Republicans on Tuesday. However, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., now says that because the oil spill has made the offshore drilling provisions in the measure a difficult sell. Okay, so why not abandon the drilling provisions?

In fact, Graham wants more drilling than is currently in the bill.

But Graham, who helped write the bill but later backed out, knows that those provisions mean that Democrats such as Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., will back out of the bill.

before the president met with Republican senators, Graham said that he worried that the American Power Act restricts “eastern Gulf exploration in a way different than our original purpose.”

Separately, Graham said he is waiting for a final accounting of the Gulf spill and how to prevent it in the future.

Graham’s shifting positions prompted Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., to say that he’s confused by the use of the Gulf spill to justify not supporting the bill.

Bingaman told E&E Daily ()

I favor plugging the leak. I favor stopping the spill. But it’s hard to say why the failure to complete the investigation of that spill would be a justification for not limiting greenhouse gas emissions. It seems to me a stretch.

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