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Hullabaloo


Saturday, May 29, 2010

 
Huckleberry Hedge

by digby

If you thought the oil spill might change the calculation on climate change legislation, think again:

Sen. Lindsey Graham warns that President Barack Obama will kill the last hopes for comprehensive energy and climate change legislation if he cracks down on offshore oil drilling.

In a sit-down interview with The Hill, the Republican senator from South Carolina said he is at a “crossroads” in deciding how to proceed on energy and climate change.

He doesn’t think the signs look good given the fallout from the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

“Why would a person who really believes in drilling put a bill on the floor right now to expand drilling and revenue sharing, knowing it can’t get 50 votes?” Graham said. “The resistance to drilling has hardened on the Democratic side, so we [Republicans have] got more votes to make up.”

Graham predicts that 10 to 12 Democrats will oppose the drilling provision he originally negotiated in the energy bill, undermining the reason he joined talks in the first place: to reduce the nation’s dependence on foreign oil.
[...]

He refused to join Kerry and Lieberman when they rolled out the 1,000-page bill earlier this month, in protest of a decision by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to also move comprehensive immigration reform this summer.


Ok. So first Graham had a temper tantrum over immigration and couldn't back the climate change bill. Now we have a catastrophic oil spill of epic proportions unfolding before our very eyes, and Graham blithely asserts that there's no point in pressing forward because the Democrats have hardened their opposition to drilling. (The bastards!) There's no word on what it would take for the Republicans to soften their support for it, but the worst spill in history doesn't seem to be enough for them to even consider keeping it off the table and pushing through the other measures.

Graham holds BP responsible for the political problems --- not sure how feels about the environmental problems made manifest by this disaster. He doesn't really say. It certainly seems as though he has no intention of changing course, but merely hopes this icky distraction passes quickly so they can go back to his original plan. Indeed, he sees this disaster as the probable death knell for climate change legislation instead of an impetus to get it passed because the Democrats won't support offshore drilling now.

And he does it with his patented cornpone "more in sorrow than in anger" act as if he has no agency in this and the Republicans have no choice but to vote against the bill if anyone so much as breathes that "drill baby drill" might not fly at the moment. Oh heck, too bad about that.

He does say that he'll reassess the political situation in a month or so so that's good. Perhaps by then everyone will have forgotten about this gusher in the gulf and we can put drilling back on the agenda so a couple of Republicans might find it in themselves to allow America to take a tiny baby step toward environmental sanity. I'm not holding my breath.

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