Lindsey Graham Said What About Climate Change?

— By Kate Sheppard| Wed Jun. 9, 2010 1:20 PM PDT

On Tuesday, South Carolina Republican Lindsey Graham told reporters that he would vote against the climate bill he helped author. Now he’s going one step further. Graham, one of the few Republicans who claimed to care about climate change, now says global warming is no big deal.

Graham appeared on Wednesday at a press conference with Dick Lugar (R-Ind.), who was rolling out his own energy bill, a measure that relies heavily on expanding nuclear power and raising fuel economy standards without putting a cap on carbon dioxide emissions. Yesterday, Graham said he didn’t think any energy bill could get 60 votes this year because oil drilling has become too controversial. Today he decided, at the last minute, to back Lugar’s bill.

Reporters asked Graham several times about why he was supporting Lugar’s bill, when just a few months ago he had argued that the Senate shouldn’t pass a “half-assed” bill that lacked hard restrictions on carbon emissions. Graham replied that he now doesn’t think pricing carbon is that important. “The science about global warming has changed,” he noted, offhandedly. “I think they’ve oversold this stuff, quite frankly. I think they’ve been alarmist and the science is in question,” Graham told reporters. “The whole movement has taken a giant step backward.”

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