Muckraker: Grist on Politics

In the South Carolina Senate race debate over the weekend, the two candidates were asked directly about climate change and energy concerns. Via Think Progress, here’s what Democratic candidate Bob Conley had to say on global warming:

Conley: It really is the arrogance of man to think that we are having any effect. I’m an engineer. So I understand that we don’t have constant things in the physical world. We have a lot of fluctuations.

And when we see, looking back how we have had fluctuations in temperature over time. And when we see how when I was a child we were told whether it was global cooling. We’ve been told in recent years well there’s global warming. Well then last year was the coldest — the coolest record in the recent trend. It’s something. I don’t think we ought to be making really haphazard statements of policy or trying to change policies on this side.

Before running as a Democrat to challenge incumbent Lindsey Graham, Conley voted for Ron Paul in the January GOP presidential primary. In 2000 he made an unsuccessful bid for the Indiana Legislature as a Republican, and he previously served on the Horry County Republican Committee.

Republican incumbent Graham is no friend of enviros either, though, racking up a 10 percent lifetime score from the League of Conservation Voters and a 7 percent in the first half of the 110th Congress. But he acknowledged that climate change is at least “somewhat man-made” in Saturday’s debate, before going on to promote offshore drilling and nuclear energy:

Graham: I do believe that man-made emissions are hurting the planet. I do believe that global warming is somewhat man-made. And the best thing for America is to become more energy indepdent. Not only would it be good for the environment not to use so much fossil fuels, we would be safer if we were not importing so much oil from countries that don’t like us very much. And this relationship we have with Middle East oil is not healthy. I’m ready to drill off the coast of South Carolina. I want a buffer zone to protect our coast, because tourism is so important, and if we do drill off the coast of South Carolina, I think if South Carolina gives her consent she should get part of the revenue. I am for nuclear power …

See Think Progress for video of the debate.