Commentary: Graham's willingness to compromise on climate change is admirable

While some of his congressional colleagues refuse to admit the planet faces environmental peril from global warming, Sen. Lindsey Graham is in the thick of the effort to do something about it. He has taken heat from some of his South Carolina constituents, but we applaud his willingness to seek a reasonable middle ground on this vital issue.

Last week, in a harshly worded resolution, the Charleston County Republican Party censured Graham for undermining “Republican leadership and party solidarity for his own benefit” and trampling the “ideals of freedom, rule of law and fiscal conservatism.” Some Republican leaders in the state have said they believe Graham is more unpopular than beleaguered Gov. Mark Sanford.

This is not the first time Graham has found himself at odds with the conservative wing of his party for consorting with Democrats. Graham was one of the few Senate Republicans — along with Sen. John McCain — who were willing to negotiate on the immigration reform bill proposed by then-President George W. Bush. He also voted recently to approve Sonia Sotomayor, President Obama's nominee to the Supreme Court.

Some fellow S.C. Republicans, including Rep. Joe Wilson, have defended Graham and opposed his censure. But the reaction from most appears to be negative.

To listen to his detractors, one might think Graham was marching in lockstep with Al Gore on climate change. In truth, Graham has adopted a middle-of-the-road approach to environmental legislation.

To read the complete editorial, visit The Rock Hill Herald.