It may be Spring recess for Congress, but Senator Lindsey Graham was busy with homework in Columbia Monday. At the Statehouse, he was briefed by leaders from business, state agencies,utilities and even environmental interests, as he builds a case against the Environmental Protection Agency’s new restrictions on carbon emissions.
He calls it a looming problem: “The regulations they are proposing would affect restaurants, churches, large houses. To build a restaurant or a large house or an office building in the future, you would need a permit from the EPA through the state to build that. It would take three years to get that permit issued.” DHEC managers told him that under these restrictions and permitting process, Boeing would never have been fast-tracked for South Carolina.
The regulations are based on a 2007 Supreme Court ruling that CO2 and other greenhouse gases (GHGs) are pollutants. So this past December the EPA moved closer to regulating these gases under the Clean Air Act. Graham has been fighting this regulation ever since.Graham says the new regulations would stifle the South Carolina economy.
(Sen. Graham interview with Ashley Byrd on EPA regulations and their impact on SC MP3)
Sen Graham interview with Ashley Byrd on EPA regulations and their impact on SC MP3
Senator Graham has been trying create a compromise bill in Congress with Senators Joe Leiberman and John Kerry. Graham says it will set the stage for South Carolina to profit from new fuels, nuclear energy and for drilling for oil off of the South Carolina coast.