The Climate Solutions Caucus--which is led by two South Florida congressmen--has expanded with two members with one of them from the Sunshine State.
Founded by U.S. Reps. Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla., and Ted Deutch, D-Fla., at the start of 2016, the Climate Solutions Caucus defines it mission as “to educate members on economically-viable options to reduce climate risk and to explore bipartisan policy options that address the impacts, causes, and challenges of our changing climate.
At the end of last week, U.S. Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., and U.S. Rep. Francis Rooney, R-Fla., joined the caucus.
Rooney, who serves as vice chair of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee despite closing out in his first term, weighed in on why he had joined the caucus and pointed to the toxic algae problem impacting South Florida.
“I joined the Climate Solutions Caucus because environmental issues are critical for our Southwest Florida community,” Rooney said. “Southwest Florida’s well-being depends on a healthy environment; one just needs to look at the algal blooms currently ravaging our community to understand the negative effects of environmental disasters. To safeguard our future, proactive planning is necessary to mitigate effects of rising sea levels and increased intensity of flooding. I look forward to working with a bi-partisan group of my colleagues on solving the problems of sea-level rise.”
“I’m proud to announce that I’ve joined the Climate Solutions Caucus alongside Rep. Rooney. As the increasingly common and destructive natural disaster of the last decade have shown, we must be committed to passing federal bipartisan legislation to protect our environment and combat climate change. Hurricanes like Maria and Florence, wildfires in California, and other disasters require serious action, and I’m excited to be a part of the solution,” Khanna said.
“Congressman Rooney’s top priority in Congress has been to fight for Southwest Florida’s environment. This includes securing additional funding for Everglades restoration projects and expediting repairs to the Herbert Hoover Dike, and calling for proactive measures to mitigate the effects of rising sea levels,” Rooney’s office noted.
Besides the two founders, there are five other members of the Florida delegation in the caucus: Republican U.S. Reps. Matt Gaetz, Brian Mast and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Democrats U.S. Reps. Charlie Crist and Stephanie Murphy.