Last week, two Republicans in the Florida delegation focused on environmental issues, launching a new caucus and showcasing efforts to combat climate change.
Back in April, U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., introduced his “Green Real Deal.” Now in his second term in Congress, Gaetz insisted his proposal was “a plan to address climate change by harnessing the power of free markets, embracing technological innovation and entrepreneurship, and cutting excessive governmental red tape” and is “the preeminent conservative response to” U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s, D-NY, “Green New Deal.”
Last week, Gaetz cheered his ally President Donald Trump’s speech on the environment.
“I commend President Trump for the important message on environmental protection,” Gaetz said last week. “President Trump is correct in realizing that heavy-handed government regulations often cause more problems than they solve, and that we must approach climate change head-on with American innovation and entrepreneurship.”
Gaetz used the opportunity to showcase his proposal.
“American innovation is the cornerstone of our economy, and harnessed correctly, we will be able to use our nation’s immense research capabilities to combat climate change, while simultaneously turbocharging the American economy. Innovation-friendly policies, many of which I have outlined in my Green Real Deal, present market-friendly approaches to our climate crisis, and will help create new generations of energy and technological entrepreneurs,” Gaetz said. “I am proud to work with President Trump, as well as my colleagues across the aisle, to pursue viable solutions to climate change.”
Gaetz is a member of the Climate Solutions Caucus which includes members of both parties who are trying to find solutions to climate change. The caucus is led by U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., and U.S. Rep. Francis Rooney, R-Fla.
Another Republican in the Florida delegation also focused on the environment last week as U.S. Reps. Brian Mast, R-Fla., and Gaetz helped launch the Roosevelt Conservation Caucus (RCC).
“The RCC will embrace and promote constructive efforts to address environmental problems, responsibly plan for all market factors, and base policy decisions on science and quantifiable facts,” Mast’s office noted.
“In Florida, we know all too well what happens when the environment is neglected. As a result of decades of abuse, toxic algal blooms are now causing a massive public health crisis,” Mast said. “This issue doesn’t discriminate based on demographics or ideology—it impacts every single one of us. We need to move past the partisan rhetoric and face our environmental challenges head on by working together to strengthen conservation programs, promote public health, defend our environment, keep our air clean and protect our waterways.”
According to Mast’s office, the RCC will focus on “protecting Americans from the harmful health risks of water pollution; ensuring ‘fishable and swimmable’ water; reducing ocean plastic pollution; increasing access to America’s public lands and waters for outdoor recreation, hunting and fishing.”
Mast is also a member of the Climate Solutions Caucus. Other members of the RCC–all of whom are Republicans–include U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-SC, and U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska.
Reach Kevin Derby at firstname.lastname@example.org.