Lindsey Graham: ‘I Believe Climate Change Is Real,’ But Reject Cap and Trade

By Melanie Arter | April 20, 2015 | 12:38 PM EDT

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) ( Starr)

( – In an interview with "Fox News Sunday," Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said he believes “climate change is real,” but he rejects the cap and trade solution proposed by former Vice President Al Gore.

“I believe climate change is real, but I reject the cap and trade solution of … of Al Gore. He's made a religion. It's a problem,” he said.

Gore’s proposed cap and trade system would penalize companies for exceeding carbon emissions limits. Last month, Gore said politicians who deny that climate change is an “accepted science” should pay a price.

Host Chris Wallace noted that in his home state of South Caroline, Graham is running fourth behind Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Jeb Bush and Sen. Ted Cruz (R- Texas). He asked if Graham was too far in the center of nondefense issues to win the Republican presidential nomination.

“You believe that climate change is real and the federal government must address it. You're open to raising attacks as part of a grand bargain. You support comprehensive immigration reform,” said Wallace. After noting where Graham ranks among other GOP presidential hopefuls, he asked: “Are you too moderate? Are you too far in the center on nondefense issues to win the Republican nomination?”

“Not at all,” Graham said, adding that not only does he believe in climate change, he would like to “clean up the air and water, become more energy independent, create jobs” and he is for offshore drilling.

“I'm for finding oil and gas that we own,” Graham said. “I'm for clean coal, I'm for natural gas, but I would like a lower carbon economy over time. Clean up the air and create jobs in the process.”

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