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Politics

Francis Rooney, Matt Gaetz Push Resolution on Rising Seas

February 11, 2019 - 1:15pm

Two Republicans from Florida--U.S. Rep. Francis Rooney and U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz--are championing a resolution  “expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that sea level rise and flooding are of urgent concern impacting Florida that require proactive measures for community planning and the states tourism-based economy to adapt.”

Rooney introduced the resolution at the end of last week with Gaetz as the only cosponsor. 

“Sea-level rise, storm surge and flooding currently threaten millions of homes across the state of Florida. I introduced this resolution to express my grave concern about the dangers associated with rising seas, and to stress the need to proactively prepare for future effects, such as increased risks of flooding from stronger hurricanes,” Rooney said on Friday. 

“Without preventive actions taken now, we risk the future livelihoods of our beautiful Florida communities,” Rooney added. “That’s why I’m calling for greater funding and the incorporation of sea-level rise projections to better plan for such events.”

The resolution was sent to the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee which sent it over to its Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment on Friday. 

After then U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla., was defeated in November, Rooney took over as the Republican co-chair of the Climate Solutions Caucus. 

“I joined the Climate Solutions Caucus because environmental issues are critical for our Southwest Florida community,” Rooney said when he joined it at the end of September. “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 bipartisan group of my colleagues on solving the problems of sea-level rise.”

Gaetz is also a member of the Climate Solutions Caucus, having joined it towards the end of 2017. U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., founded the caucus with Curbelo. Rooney is a member on the Congressional Ocean and Estuary Caucuses and the American Flood Coalition.

The Southwest Florida Republican has drawn fire from the right, including from Americans for Tax Reform, for backing Deutch’s proposal for a carbon tax. 

Comments

I question what Frances Rooney was thinking when voting against President Trump national emergency on the border. Think the guy ought to go over and sit across the isle as he has shown his true colors.

60-year wet/dry cycle is turning wet now. The dry cycle began ~1960. Climate quackery squandered $25 billion/year in subsidies and fake research that COULD have gone into Real environmental mitigation. Local gov’t driven tax greed for urban sprawl, paved surfaces, canals, the intracoastal waterways carving up barrier islands the last 100 years are taking their toll now along coasts. Inland polluted waters from Orlando and Kissimmee fed into Lake O, giving algae to downstream residents. Stop sprawl. Rebuild urban blight. Say Yes to gentrification and high rises.

This a laudable first mini-step (i.e. establishing a "sense of Congress") and will need to be worked through actual solutions based on the best science available . . . . . . . . . . . . . . despite climate change deniers on either side of the aisle (e.g. "all the phony science, could it be that manmade global warming is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people?"; "I think it's a natural occurrence… I think there's an agenda-driven science"; "Sure the climate is changing, and one of the reasons is because the climate has always been changing. There has never been a time when the climate was not changing"; "This whole global warming myth will be exposed as what it really is—a way of control more than anything else. And that generation will be ticked"; AND TO END WITH A FEW BY OUR ESTEEMED PRESIDENT --> "The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive"; "Well, I think the climate change is just a very, very expensive form of tax. A lot of people are making a lot of money. I know much about climate change. I'd be—received environmental awards."; "It's freezing and snowing in New York -- we need global warming!") . . . . . . . . on this, at least, I think Matt Gaetz had it right --> "I don't think there's a scientific debate left to be had on if it is happening. I also think history is going to judge very harshly climate change deniers, and I don't want to be one of them." . . . . . . . . . . I'm not able to say this often, but Kudos, Matt Gaetz! . . . . . .

Well said

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