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Climate change is not a debate; it is a fact of life, and this is especially true in South Florida. We must work together to address this dire existential crisis before it is too late.
I am committed to ensuring the United States assumes a position of leadership in an international, coordinated response to the unprecedented threat of climate change. To that end, we must rejoin the Paris Agreement and assert with the full authority of our nation that climate change will be fought with the same American innovation and ingenuity that has led our world for centuries. Domestically, we must meet this challenge by investing in clean and renewable energy infrastructure, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and addressing the public health crises caused and exacerbated by climate change.
We must protect the many parks, beaches, waters, public lands, and wildlife that make the Florida landscape a national treasure. Florida is home to 127 species protected by the Endangered Species Act, including the Florida panther, the manatee, elkhorn coral, and multiple sea turtle and butterfly species, as well as a host of endangered plants. These species are a treasured part of our natural heritage and contribute to the stunning biodiversity that Floridians have enjoyed for generations.
During my first term in Congress, I’ve taken numerous steps to protect our natural heritage from destruction:
- I’ve supported a series of bills to ban offshore drilling, including H.R. 341, the COAST Anti-Drilling Act, H.R. 286, the Florida Coastal Protection Act, and H.R. 1146, the Arctic Cultural and Coastal Plain Protection Act. Similar legislation, which would ban offshore drilling off of all coasts of Florida passed the House in September with my support.
- I am a proud cosponsor of H.R. 9, the Climate Action Now Act, which will hold the United States to the Paris Agreement on climate change and cut greenhouse gas emissions by 26-28% by 2025. This legislation passed the House with an amendment I introduced, recognizing the importance of addressing sea level rise, saltwater intrusion, flooding, and extreme weather events.
- I am an original cosponsor of H.R. 5221, the 100% Clean Economy Act, which will restore the United States as a global climate leader by setting a nationwide goal of achieving a 100 percent clean energy economy by 2050, defined as net-zero climate pollution across all sectors of our nation’s economy, by 2050.
- I cosponsored H.Res. 589, supporting the findings of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and expressing the dire need for climate action.
- I helped secure $200 million in funding for the Everglades in the 2019 budget deal and continue to advocate for a strong federal investment in Everglades restoration.
- I cosponsored H.R. 2050, the ANTIQUITIES Act of 2019, which establishes a National Monument Enhancement Fund and reiterates that presidents cannot diminish national monuments and parks.
- I cosponsored H.R. 3195, the Land and Water Conservation Fund Permanent Funding Act, which will provide permanent funds to maintain this vital program.
- I cosponsored H.R. 4348, the PAW and FIN Conservation Act, which will reverse President Trump’s rollback of the Endangered Species Act.
Environmental concerns are not merely conceptual—the air we breathe and the water we drink have enormous impacts on our health. As long as I am in Congress, I will stand strong for all Floridians by defending our natural environment and ensuring that our state is resilient to the threat of climate change.