From his perch as one of the co-chairs and founders of the Climate Solution Caucus, this week, U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla., focused on the environment, urging his fellow Republicans to provide more solutions.
Curbelo joined fellow Republicans U.S. Reps. Ryan Costello of Pennsylvania and Elise Stefanik of New York to bring out a resolution on Wednesday urging the GOP-controlled U.S. House to use “American ingenuity, innovation, and exceptionalism” to defend the “conservative principle to protect, conserve, and be good stewards of our environment” by supporting “economically viable, and broadly supported private and public solutions to study and address the causes and effects of measured changes to our global and regional climates.”
Curbelo, Costello and Stefanik rounded up more than a dozen fellow House Republicans to back the resolution including U.S. Reps. Brain Mast and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida, Mia Love of Utah, Pat Meehan of Pennsylvania and Mark Sanford of South Carolina.
"With forty percent of Florida’s population at risk from sea-level rise, my state is on the front lines of climate change,” Curbelo said on Wednesday. “South Florida residents are already beginning to feel the effects of climate change in their daily lives – from chronic flooding to coral bleaching to threats to our freshwater supply in the Everglades. We cannot ignore these challenges and every member of Congress has a responsibility to our constituents and future generations to support market-based solutions, investments, and innovations that could alleviate the effects of climate change and make our nation more resilient. Our goal with this resolution is to shift the debate from whether climate change is real toward the tangible efforts to reduce carbon emissions and mitigate its effects."
The resolution won the support of Citizens' Climate Lobby, the Friends Committee on National Legislation, Conservatives for Responsible Stewardship, Catholic Climate Covenant, the Union of Concerned Scientists, the Center for Climate and Security, the Nature Conservancy, the Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN) and Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions.
Earlier in the week, Curbelo teamed up with U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., his fellow founder and co-hair of the Climate Solutions Caucus, and Democratic U.S. Reps. Don Beyer of Virginia and Alan Lowenthal of California, the chairs of the Safe Climate Caucus, in sending a letter to U.S. Sec. of State Rex Tillerson, urging the Trump administration to adhere to the Paris Agreement which was part of the United Nations Framework on Climate Change (UNFCC) in 2015.
“Stepping away from the agreement would mean stepping away from the immense opportunities that these international investments afford American businesses and research institutions,” the four congressmen wrote. “On the other hand, fully implementing the climate agreement reached in Paris will create American jobs, boost U.S. competitiveness, and help to transform today’s low-carbon investments into trillions of dollars of clean prosperity.”
“We urge you to continue making the case to the administration that the United States should not give up its seat at the table by upholding U.S. commitments made to the international community under the Paris Agreement and the UNFCCC framework,” the congressmen added.
Last week, Curbelo took aim at Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt’s assertion that carbon dioxide is not a “primary contributor to the global warming.”
“Rising carbon emissions have been a contributing factor to climate change for decades,” Curbelo said. “That is a scientific fact and the reality facing communities like my district. The EPA is tasked with the very responsibility of helping to lower the impact of carbon emissions, and for Mr. Pruitt to assert otherwise without scientific evidence is reckless and unacceptable.”