May 01 2006

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced 500 new jobs will be coming to the Savannah River Site (SRS) this year. The jobs are related to construction of the MOX facility at SRS which will begin later this year. “This is welcome news for Savannah River Site, the MOX program, and the state,” said Graham. “The MOX program is incredibly important to the Site, nation, and world. I’m glad we are taking steps to get the construction and eventual operation of the facility moving forward.” The first phase will see approximately 200 employees from the MOX contractor, Duke Cogema Stone & Webster (DCS), transition from their current offices in Charlotte to the Site by the end of the year. The bulk of these employees are expected to move this summer. These employees will be involved in managing the MOX facility construction and startup activities, providing engineering support during the construction phase, and obtaining an operating license from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. In addition, DCS says it plans to hire approximately 320 subcontractor employees for construction by the end of the year. These employees will perform construction activities, such as excavating the MOX facility site, pouring the concrete foundation, and installing equipment. In 2000, the U.S. and Russia agreed to dispose of 68 metric tons (34 metric tons each) of surplus, weapon-grade plutonium by turning it into MOX fuel for use in existing, commercial nuclear reactors. Once the MOX fuel has been created and irradiated in a nuclear reactor, the plutonium can no longer be used for nuclear weapons. Sixty-eight metric tons of plutonium is enough material for 17,000 nuclear weapons. “The congressional delegation is committed to ensuring the MOX program becomes a reality and today we are taking another step forward,” said Graham. “The MOX program is vital to our national security and we will continue to work together to ensure it is adequately funded. The citizens of South Carolina, along with the Savannah River Site workforce, should be proud of the role we are playing in making the world a safer place.” #####

Apr 28 2006

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Jim DeMint and Lindsey Graham announced today a Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant totaling nearly $5 million to the Alligator Rural Water and Sewer Company in the city of Chesterfield. “These funds are a key resource to rural communities who cannot fully absorb the costs of developing these systems,” said Senator DeMint. “I applaud those involved for their efforts to secure the necessary local support to pursue these funds.” “The funds for this project will help provide a safe and dependable water supply for residents of the area,” said Graham. “Key infrastructure improvements like this help with future development and I hope this pays dividends for years to come. I’m optimistic and encouraged about the impact this project will have on the future of the community.” The funds come in the form of a $2,139,300 grant and a $2,784,000 loan from the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development. The USDA Rural Development promotes economic development by supporting loans to businesses through banks and community-managed lending pools. They offer technical assistance and information to help agricultural and other cooperatives get started and improve the effectiveness of their member services and provide technical assistance to help communities undertake community empowerment programs. “I want to thank Senators Graham and DeMint for their hard work and dedication to the rural areas of South Carolina,” said Tee Miller South Carolina State Director for USDA Rural Development. The Rural Development funds will be used to construct a new deep well, a 1,000 gpm booster pump station, a 1,500,000 gallon storage tank, approximately 32,700 ft. of water line, and related appurtenance. The project will tie into Alligator’s existing system and will increase Alligator’s pumping and transmission capacity. This project will provide an adequate source of water both in quality and quantity, to over 85% of the residents of Chesterfield County. Approximately 36,000 Chesterfield County residents will benefit from this project. ###

Apr 28 2006

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today signed on as a sponsor to the Gas Price Reduction Act which temporarily suspends through September 30 the 18.4 cents a gallon federal gas tax. The plan reimburses the Highway Trust fund an equal amount by suspending certain tax credits and royalties for the major oil companies. “This is a temporary relief measure,” said Graham. “I hope it will be followed by a longer-term strategy to wean our nation of our dependence on foreign sources of oil. As a nation, we must become more energy independent.” Graham noted the gas tax roll back plan introduced by Senator John Thune (R-South Dakota) didn’t take money away from the Highway Trust Fund and reduce South Carolina’s share of highway funds which are spent on maintenance and upkeep. The revenue lost by the suspension of the federal gas tax will be replaced by reducing, canceling, and reallocating previous tax credits and royalty payments to the major oil companies. “I know what high gas prices mean to citizens and businesses in South Carolina,” said Graham. “Increased fuel prices hits everyone – from families, to those on fixed incomes, to our businesses -- very hard. With the price of a barrel of oil over $70, these tax credits and royalty waivers are not needed by the oil companies. It’s only appropriate to do away with these breaks.” During his service in the House of Representatives and Senate, Graham has repeatedly voted to open the Artic National Wildlife Refuge to exploration. The provision has been blocked in the Senate for years. Graham also serves as the co-chair of the Senate Hydrogen Caucus and has been a strong supporter of research and development of hybrid vehicles and hydrogen-powered automobiles. The passage into law last year of the Energy Bill contained more than $3.5 billion in funding over the next 5 years for hydrogen research. The hydrogen provisions in the bill were largely based upon language authored by Graham and Senator Byron Dorgan (D-North Dakota). “As for the long term, I think it would be irresponsible if 50 years from now we’re still reliant on Middle Eastern oil to drive our national economy,” said Graham. “We need to get away from fossil fuels and start looking at using different sources of energy such as hydrogen.” “Our state is a national leader in hydrogen research,” said Graham. “USC is developing fuel cells, Clemson is working on hydrogen vehicles, and Savannah River Site (SRS) is a leading research facility on hydrogen technologies. What Detroit was to the automotive industry, South Carolina can be to hydrogen.” #####

Apr 26 2006

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced Abbeville County Memorial Hospital will receive a $180,000 grant to support rural health network development. The hospital is partnering with Lakelands Rural Health Network to develop a collaborative, economically viable health network to improve the quality of care in Abbeville, Edgefield, Greenwood, McCormick, and Saluda counties. The funds were awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. ####

Apr 26 2006

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced Williamsburg County will receive a $1,724,300 grant and a $2,102,000 loan for water infrastructure improvements. The funds will be used to install approximately 25 miles of water distribution lines in the South Williamsburg area. “The area has been identified by the Department of Health and Environmental Control as an environmentally distressed area,” said Graham. “The funds for this project will help provide a safe and dependable water supply for residents of the area. Key infrastructure improvements like this help with future development and I hope this pays dividends for years to come. I’m optimistic and encouraged about the impact this project will have on the future of the community.” The funds were awarded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development. “USDA Rural Development is committed to the future of South Carolina’s rural communities,” said Tee Miller, South Carolina State Director of USDA Rural Development. “The infrastructure built with these funds is an investment in the future of Williamsburg County." ####

Apr 25 2006

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced the town of Lake View will receive an $842,900 grant and a $1,161,000 loan for improvements to the town’s wastewater treatment facility. The funds will be used for an intermittent sand filter, a chlorine contact tank, an effluent pumping station, and a 33 acre spray field. The funds were awarded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. ####

Apr 25 2006

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today met with President Bush at the White House to discuss immigration reform. Graham was part of a bipartisan delegation of Senators. Graham said: “After our meeting, I deeply believe President Bush would like immigration reform to be part of his legacy. As a former border state governor, President Bush is well-versed on the nature of the problem and the need to address it in a comprehensive manner. He also understands the basic fact that it is impractical to deport and physically remove all 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States. “During our meeting, President Bush reaffirmed his position that allowing illegal immigrants to jump in front of someone pursuing legal status would be wrong. I agree with the President and the bipartisan compromise bill we negotiated in the Senate does not allow illegal immigrants to jump to the front of the line. “Immigration reform is one of the most complex and important matters facing our nation. With presidential leadership on this difficult issue, I think we can pass comprehensive immigration reform into law. “I’m convinced the President will do everything in his power to pass immigration reform that secures our border, reforms our employment laws, and fairly deals with the 11 million people here illegally. “I hope the Senate will again take up this most important issue in the near future.” #####

Apr 12 2006

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) made the following statement on reports that Iran has enriched uranium. Graham is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “The recent news that Iran has enriched uranium is very disturbing. There is nothing worse – short of Al-Qaeda having a nuclear bomb – than Iran having a nuclear bomb. “We know the President of Iran is a dangerous man. He has threatened to destroy Israel and continues to deny the Holocaust ever happened. Based upon his words and past actions, I’m very concerned that if Iran develops a nuclear weapon they would use it to attack Israel. “I agree with President Bush that a nuclear-armed Iran is a danger to the security of the Middle East and the world. I hope we can solve this problem through diplomacy. However, we must ensure that all options remain on the table.” #####

Apr 07 2006

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint today announced the South Carolina Department of Public Safety will receive a $609,700 grant to aid in strengthening the state’s juvenile justice system. The money was awarded through the Juvenile Accountability Block Grant (JABG) program. The JABG program helps states and local governments improve their juvenile justice systems. Awards are made to each state based on the population of youth under the age of eighteen. The grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Justice. ####

Apr 07 2006

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced Rock Hill will receive a $175,000 grant to support the Weed and Seed program. Weed and Seed aims to prevent, control, and reduce violent crime, drug abuse, and gang activity in targeted high-crime neighborhoods. The strategy involves a two-pronged approach: law enforcement agencies and prosecutors cooperate in ‘weeding out’ criminals who participate in violent crime and drug abuse, attempting to prevent their return to the targeted area; and ‘seeding’ brings human services to the area, encompassing prevention, intervention, treatment, and neighborhood revitalization. This is the first award for the Rock Hill program. During this project period program goals include: sanctioning individuals involved in violent crime; restoring a sense of safety to the community; establishing multi-jurisdictional teams to identify youth gang activity; providing opportunities for offenders to participate in community programs; offering youth alternatives to gang life and criminal activity by engaging them in educational and job training programs; and, revitalize areas of Rock Hill by restoring existing housing stock, encouraging the expansion of home ownership programs, and promoting diverse neighborhoods that are well maintained. The grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Justice. ####