Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC) has announced that he is willing to support some form of climate change legislation, but only if the current Kerry-Boxer bill is overhauled to look a lot more like a traditional Republican program of energy independence.
"There will be no climate change bill with my vote unless you have offshore oil drilling," Graham told Fox News on Thursday. "I won't vote for any climate change bill that doesn't allow a dramatic increase in nuclear power. I'm not going to vote for any climate change bill that doesn't allow us to use our coal deposits."
Graham said he doesn't see any chance of current proposals getting past a filibuster in the Senate because "there's nowhere near 60 votes for a cap-and-trade system that puts a lot of businesses out of business."
"Environmental policy has to be good business policy," Graham insisted. "What would happen in this country if you build a hundred nuclear power plants in the next thirty years? It would create millions of jobs. And we need to use the coal that God has given us."
"If we can do that," conceded Graham, "I'm also willing to help the planet be a cleaner, safer place by controlling carbon in a way that doesn't put us in the dark or out of business. ... There's a lot of money to be made from green technology ... but we need also to explore for fossil fuels that we're going to need for generations until we get to a carbon-free economy. So I'm trying to combine concepts. ... I'm trying to create a good business opportunity out of environmental policy."
This video is from Fox News' America's Newsroom, broadcast Oct. 22, 2009.