Sen. Graham Censured for Climate Stance

Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina is one Republican who is forcefully speaking out about the importance of climate and energy legislation. He's co-authored an op-ed with Sen. John Kerry, rebuked his fellow Republicans for not seeing that a clean energy future is upon us, and made the rounds on the talk shows to discuss action. But what's his reward? Graham has been censured by the South Carolina's Charleston County Republicans. Check this out from E&E; (account needed)

Kenneth Dilks, the second vice chairman of the Charleston County GOP, said the vote stems from longstanding distrust of Graham's work with Democrats on judicial nominees, immigration and, most recently, climate change.

"Lindsey Graham has had a history of trying to come up with a compromise, and he's been burnt every time he's done it," Dilks said in an interview.

Dilks said local officials do not trust the science linking humans to global warming, or the results from the European Union's effort to curb greenhouse gas emissions. "A lot of us are really upset about that cap and trade," he said.

So what kind of message does this send other Republican Senators as the debate on energy and climate moves to the their chamber? Not a positive one, that's for sure. On the heels of the NY-23 congressional race, where a moderate Republican was forced out of the election by a more conservative opponent with national backing (only to lose the general election), it's safe to assume that Republicans interested in fending off their own party's challenges will shy away from climate action.

Those of us who want action can take heart in the fact that there are 60 Democrats in the Senate, but their votes are not guaranteed at all.

More on Graham:
Senate Climate Bill gets Bipartisan Support
Graham Caught in the Forest by Time Photographer