“I’m tired of sending hundreds of billions of dollars to buy oil from people who hate us. We must have energy independence. And in the process, I believe it is possible to produce a safe, clean environment, and create new well-paying jobs for Americans of all generations.”
That was the statement offered by Senator Lindsey Graham when he joined fellow Senate Republicans Kelly Ayotte (NH), Mark Kirk (IL), and Lamar Alexander (TN) to launch the Senate’s Energy and Environment Working Group late last year. CRES praised Senator Graham for taking a lead role in forming the group, and leading the way on addressing free market energy reforms that grow the economy, produce cleaner energy, and secure a clean air legacy for generations to come.
Earlier this year, Senator Graham led a bipartisan effort in the Senate to promote clean energy technology in the form of a high-profile amendment to the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act. Amendment 3864 called on Congress to advance clean energy research and development while also supporting solutions that would reduce carbon emissions.
Senator Graham has fostered statewide support for innovative clean technology and prioritizing energy resources in the New South. According to recent polling in South Carolina commissioned by CRES, 79% of likely Republican primary voters believe that “We have a duty to be responsible stewards of God’s creation” and 61% say there should be more emphases on diversifying energy resources.
In fact, South Carolina is already benefiting from a renewable energy boom thanks to Republican leaders like Sen. Graham and Governor Nikki Haley. According to the Solar Foundation National Solar Jobs Census, the state’s solar industry currently employs more than 1,700 residents, a number which is expected to grow in the next year.
Over the past decade in Washington, few voices have been taken more seriously when it comes to pursuing and investing in clean technology and climate solutions. Graham deserves to be applauded for being a champion of free market energy solutions that grow South Carolina’s economy, and support a cleaner environment for future generations.