Jan 24 2007

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) continued his push for energy independence and innovation by reintroducing legislation in the U.S. Senate yesterday creating the H-Prize. The H-Prize is meant to help overcome the technical challenges related to using hydrogen as a widely available and abundant fuel source by offering cash incentives. Graham introduced similar legislation in the last Congress. “As a nation, we need to become less dependent on foreign oil,” said Graham. “Last night, President Bush called on the nation to reduce gasoline usage by twenty percent over the next ten years. I completely support his call for energy independence, and the H-Prize can help lead the move away from fossil fuels and toward alternative sources of energy such as hydrogen.” Graham serves as the co-chair of the Senate Hydrogen Caucus, along with Senator Byron Dorgan (D-North Dakota). Dorgan has signed on as the lead Democratic sponsor of the H-Prize legislation in the Senate. The bill was introduced in the House of Representative by Congressmen Bob Inglis (R-South Carolina) and Daniel Lipinski (D-Illinois). Graham noted South Carolina is a national leader in hydrogen research. The University of South Carolina is developing hydrogen fuel cells, Clemson is working on hydrogen vehicles, Aiken County has established a Hydrogen Research Center, and the Savannah River Site is a leading research facility in hydrogen storage and technology. These groups and others recently united behind the South Carolina Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association which coordinates the state’s efforts to be a leading player in the emerging hydrogen economy. The H-Prize is modeled on the Ansari X Prize which spurred the first privately funded suborbital human spaceflight. Awards will be offered in the following categories:
  • Technological Advancement: Four prizes of up to $1 million will be awarded every two years for outstanding achievements in the Production, Storage, Distribution, and Utilization of hydrogen.
  • Prototypes: One prize of up to $4 million will be awarded every two years for working hydrogen vehicle prototypes that meets performance goals.
  • Transformational Technology: Over the next ten years, a single $10 million prize funded by the federal government or private donations for breakthrough hydrogen technologies.
The legislation directs the Secretary of Energy to contract with a private foundation or other non-profit entity to establish criteria for the prizes and administer the prize contest. “In 50 years, if we’re still reliant on Middle Eastern oil to drive our national economy, we will have done a great disservice to future generations. I appreciate Congressman Inglis’s leadership in the House, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to advance our nation’s energy independence. The H-Prize will help foster additional research and development in the long-overdue effort to make hydrogen a significant source of our nation’s energy supply.” #####

Jan 23 2007

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) tonight made the following statement on the State of the Union Address delivered by President Bush. On Iraq and the War on Terror “I completely agree with President Bush that the outcome in Iraq is part of the overall War on Terror. We’re in a global struggle between extremists and moderates and we can not afford to lose. Success in Iraq with a functioning democratic government will empower moderates throughout the Mideast. Failure in Iraq will lead to regional chaos. “A failed state in Iraq would empower Iran, as they could install a puppet government in southern Iraq; it would create tension between Turkey and the Kurdish north; and sectarian violence in Baghdad, if unchecked, could result in a bloodbath where Sunni and Shiite nations feel compelled to get involved. “I believe General Petraeus’s new strategy of sending more troops and more economic aid, and improving the political climate in Iraq is our best chance for success, and I support his new effort. To my colleagues who believe Iraq is a lost cause, I urge you to have the courage of your convictions and vote to stop sending more troops into Iraq by cutting off funding. “A resolution declaring the new strategy a failure before it is implemented is the worst of all worlds. It is a vote of no confidence in General Petraeus, will empower our enemies, and be demoralizing to our own troops.” On Increasing the Size of the Army and Marine Corps “I enthusiastically support President Bush’s decision to grow the Army and Marine Corps. A larger military would provide us with additional combat capability in Iraq and Afghanistan and allow us to deal with other threats looming on the horizon. We need additional combat capability and in war, there is no substitute for boots on the ground.” On Energy Independence “I completely support President Bush’s call to reduce gasoline usage by twenty percent over the next ten years. The sooner we get away from Mideast oil, the better for our nation and the world. “I strongly support more nuclear power, hydrogen and ethanol for automobiles, and other alternative energy sources that will reduce our dependence on fossil fuels from the Middle East. The President’s energy independence plan should be embraced in a bipartisan fashion. “South Carolina is leading the way in terms of nuclear power production and the development of alternative fuel sources like hydrogen, and we stand to be a big winner as the President’s plan is implemented.” ####

Jan 22 2007

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced his support for a line-item veto. The line-item veto amendment introduced by Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH) is expected to be voted on this week. Graham is a cosponsor of the legislation. The amendment would allow the President to submit a list of spending items he wants to remove from a bill Congress has passed. Congress would then vote on rescinding these items. “The line-item veto is an important tool for a President to have in eliminating wasteful spending items from the federal budget,” said Graham. “There’s no doubt we need to bring more accountability and transparency to the way we spend taxpayer dollars. The line-item veto is another option to help us achieve those objectives. The Senate should pass this amendment.” #####

Jan 22 2007

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made the following statement on the Warner-Collins-Nelson Iraq resolution. “Unfortunately this new Iraq resolution, no matter how well-intentioned, has the same effect as the Biden resolution. It declares General Petraeus’s new strategy a failure before it has a chance to be implemented. “Any resolution that could be construed by American forces that Congress has lost faith in their ability to be successful in Iraq should be rejected because it rings of defeatism at a time when we should be focused on Victory. “Success or failure in Iraq will spread throughout the region creating momentum for moderation or extremism. Petraeus’s new strategy is our best hope for success, acknowledges past mistakes, sets benchmarks for Iraqi leaders, and provides needed reinforcements in all areas: militarily, politically, and economically. “I urge my colleagues not to try to micromanage the war, but instead listen to General Petraeus and fully resource his proposal. We must stand behind him and the brave men and women who will execute this new strategy, as the successful outcome in Iraq is essential to winning the War on Terror.” ####

Jan 17 2007

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint today announced nearly $250,000 in grants to fire departments in Aiken and Monetta.



“Firefighters and emergency service personnel dedicate themselves to protecting the health and safety of South Carolinians ,” said Graham.  “These grants will help our local fire departments by providing them the means to obtain the best equipment and training available.”



South Carolina 's firefighters risk their lives to protect our families each day and I'm proud they have been awarded these competitive grants,” said Senator DeMint.



The grants were awarded in one of two program areas:



  • Operations and Firefighter Safety Program: The funds may be used for training, wellness, and fitness programs; the purchase of firefighting equipment and personal protective equipment; and modifications to fire stations and facilities.



  • Firefighting Vehicle Acquisition Program: The funds may be used for the purchase of firefighting vehicles including pumpers, brush trucks, tankers, rescue vehicles, ambulances, quints, aerials, foam units, and fireboats.




The grants awarded include:




Center Community Volunteer Fire Department will receive a $199,500 Firefighting Vehicle Acquisition Grant.





Monetta Community Volunteer Fire Department will receive a $50,070 Operations and Firefighter Safety Grant.



The Assistance to Firefighters grant program awards one-year grants directly to local fire departments, enhancing their ability to respond to fire and fire-related hazards in the community.  The program supports departments by providing them the tools and resources necessary to protect the health and safety of the public and their firefighting personnel.   


Grantees share in the cost of the funded project at a percentage based on the population of their respective jurisdiction.  Grantees that serve jurisdictions of 50,000 or fewer residents are required to provide a non-Federal cost-share of 10 percent while grantees that serve jurisdictions of over 50,000 provide a 30 percent cost-share.  The match must be in cash without the use of in-kind contributions.   In addition, the maximum amount of federal funds that an applicant can be awarded is $750,000 during any fiscal year.



The grants are made by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.





Jan 16 2007

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) has been named the South Carolina Citizens for Life 2006 Legislator of the Year.

Graham earned the designation for, “personal efforts and attention to the passage of the South Carolina Unborn Victims of Violence Act signed into law on June 2, 2006, by Governor Mark Sanford.” During the debate in the South Carolina General Assembly, Graham made calls and urged both Republican and Democratic leaders to put aside their differences and pass Unborn Victims legislation on the state level.

South Carolina Citizens for Life also praised Graham for his work in Washington as the original author of the Unborn Victims of Violence Act (UVVA). The legislation recognizes the mother and unborn child as victims when they are injured or killed during the commission of a federal crime.

After years of congressional wrangling and many distortions made by opponents of the legislation, the UVVA passed Congress and President Bush signed it into law on April 6, 2004. The National Right to Life Committee called the new federal law, “a landmark right-to-life victory.”

The Legislator of the Year designation was bestowed on Graham at the 34th Annual Stand up for Life March and Rally in Columbia on Saturday, January 13, 2007.



Jan 14 2007

The Path Forward in Iraq

The op-ed appeared in newspapers across South Carolina beginning January 14, 2007.

The battle for the future of Iraq is not about the political moment. It’s about the next decade and the decades to follow. It’s about securing a peaceful future for our nation. We have a lot on the line and it’s important we do everything possible to achieve Victory in Iraq. It is clear to everyone from President Bush on down that our old strategy has not led to a secure Iraq. Ever since al-Qaeda bombed the Golden Mosque, a Shiite holy site, the level of sectarian violence has escalated. The new plan introduced this week is controversial and has many critics and skeptics. I hope they will listen to the man who will carry out the new mission, General David Petraeus, when he testifies before Congress. He is an impressive leader and I’ve spoken with him about the path forward. He has confidence we can be successful. Unfortunately, some leaders such as Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi have already suggested we take a completely different tack and begin withdrawing troops from Iraq. My question to them and others who support withdrawal and redeployment of American forces is, ‘What happens if we leave Iraq?’ A United States withdrawal or redeployment from the battle would leave Iraq in shambles. In all probability it would trigger a full-blown civil war encompassing the large parts of Iraq that are currently stable. It could lead to a wider regional conflict involving neighboring nations including Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Turkey and create a new safe haven for terrorist groups capable of striking the United States and our allies. We would face massive humanitarian disasters stemming from widespread revenge killings to ethnic cleansings. The extremists in the region, who already view the United States as a paper tiger would be emboldened. Withdrawing or redeploying from Iraq is not a sound, long-term policy for the national security of the United States. It is a recipe for defeat. We must change strategy or we are going to lose Iraq. We have made many mistakes and from the start we never had enough troops on the ground. We’ve paid dearly for allowing the security situation to steadily decrease and making political reconciliation by the Iraqis more difficult. For some time I have been calling for additional American troops, even though I know it could result in more casualties and sacrifice, to help in efforts to establish a democracy. While we have won every engagement against the insurgents our Clear, Hold, and Build strategy has not worked because we could not ‘Hold’ areas after they were ‘Cleared.’ Once we left, areas fell back into the insurgent’s control and violence escalated. You cannot establish democracy where you have militias stronger than the central government. You cannot have security when citizens don’t have faith in their central government to protect them. The five new brigades assigned to Baghdad will double our combat capability. They will assist the Iraqi forces in bringing about security and give the political leadership a reasonable chance to bring about stable government. One of the key political efforts is to reach agreement regarding the fair distribution of the oil revenues among the Sunni, Shia, and Kurds. A sharing of the wealth would give disenchanted Iraqis something to fight for, not against. President Bush has made it abundantly clear both the American and the Iraqi people are running out of patience. No amount of troops will change the future outcome unless Iraqi political leaders are willing to reach political accommodation. After five trips to Iraq, I believe many Iraqis are tired of the violence and seek a better way. Many have given their lives because of their willingness to serve their fellow citizens. Others remain afraid to come out of the shadows because chaos reigns. Over the coming weeks, Democrats and Republicans should be united around the fact that what happens in Iraq is directly tied to the future security of our nation. Do we want an Iraq at peace with its neighbors and an ally in the War on Terror? Or do we want an Iraq that is a safe haven for groups hostile to the United States, wracked by internal conflict and bloodshed, and a source of constant friction among neighboring nations? A final note, one of the highest reenlistment rates in the military is among those who have served in Iraq. I hope Congress and the American people will take this into consideration and ask themselves why their fellow American citizens – in the line of fire and in harms way – are so committed to this fight? They know history will not judge us on when we leave Iraq, but by what we leave behind. #####

Jan 10 2007

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) made the following statement tonight on President Bush’s address to the nation outlining his comprehensive new strategy for moving forward in Iraq. “We cannot afford to lose the war in Iraq. “President Bush makes a very persuasive case for strategy change. I appreciate his willingness to acknowledge past mistakes and chart a new course to achieve victory in Iraq. “We do not currently have combat capability to ‘Clear, Hold, and Build’ in parts of the country. And it’s clear we never had enough troops to bring about security after the fall of Baghdad. The supplemental combat capability proposed by President Bush will help Iraqis control their streets and rid them of insurgents. It is a much needed change. “We must get a handle on the security situation in Iraq. You cannot establish a democracy when you have militias stronger than the central government. You cannot establish security when the citizens don’t have faith in their central government to protect them from violence. “I am also pleased the President outlined positive steps to address rampant unemployment, set benchmarks for the Iraqi leadership, and involve friendly neighboring states in achieving a positive outcome. Iraqi political leaders understand this is their last chance to make adjustments to secure their country. I believe they will. “Unfortunately, some in Congress want to cut off funding or cap troop levels so we cannot send additional troops to Iraq. We must not compound past mistakes by withdrawing or redeploying American forces from Iraq. To do so would send a heart-breaking signal to the moderates in the region and those in Iraq fighting for their freedom. “Taking drastic steps like those suggested by some of my Democratic colleagues--Congress basically declaring the war as lost--would be a disaster for our national security interests and are a recipe for defeat. These policies must not be adopted.” ####

Jan 09 2007

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced two wildlife habitat conservation projects in South Carolina will receive $8.6 million in federal grant money.  The funds will help enable the state to purchase two environmentally significant tracts of land. 



"One of South Carolina ’s greatest treasures is the natural beauty of our surroundings,” said Graham.  “We have a responsibility to help ensure our state’s natural resources are preserved for the benefit of future generations.  These are two very important conservation projects.  I’m very pleased we were able to secure federal funding to protect both of these environmentally significant tracts of land.”



The federal funds will be redirected from already completed land acquisition projects. . 



The projects include:



  • $4.45 million to purchase the Woodbury Wildlife Management Area.  The Woodbury tract, covering 25,668 acres, will protect 27.5 miles of river frontage along the Great Pee Dee River and 11.5 miles of frontage along the Little Pee Dee River in Marion County .  



  • $4.15 million to purchase the Hamilton Ridge Wildlife Management Area along the Savannah River in Hampton County .  This tract of 13,281 acres is adjacent to 12,600 acres of South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR)-owned Wildlife Management Areas known as Webb and Palachucola.  Protection of Hamilton Ridge will double the protected acreage in this block and add another 8.5 miles to the existing 5 miles of state-protected frontage on the Savannah River



Both protected areas will be placed in the SCDNR Wildlife Management Area program and will be open to the public for traditional outdoor recreational opportunities such as birding, nature walking, hunting, and fishing. 



Graham credited his Senate and House colleagues for their work on this project.



“This was a team effort,” said Graham.  “It would not have happened without support from Jim DeMint, Henry Brown, Joe Wilson, and the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.  I truly appreciate their efforts.”



Graham noted that Governor Sanford hopes to add $20 million to a state fund to buy and preserve forest, wetlands and other wilderness areas in South Carolina .



“Conserving natural resources unifies South Carolinians from the coast to the mountains,” said Graham.  “We must be wise about preserving the natural beauty of our state for future generations. Today, we have taken another big step forward.”