2. Lindsey Graham « The Washington Independent
The conservative South Carolina Republican is an unlikely hero for climate activists, but he now represents the best hope for a cap-and-trade bill to pass the Senate. Graham took the world by surprise when he and Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) penned an op-ed in The New York Times laying out a framework for bipartisan climate legislation. Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) has since joined their efforts, and the tripartisan team continues to hash out the details of its bill. Though environmentalists will grumble about Graham’s added nuclear energy and offshore drilling provisions, his very presence as a co-sponsor should provide cover for conservative Democrats — and probably some moderate Republicans — to support the bill. Graham took serious heat from conservatives for his efforts, but in the hyperpartisan 111th Congress, Graham’s aisle-crossing adherence to principle is a feat in its own right.