Rick Scott Highlights Environmental Agenda in Letter to Michael Regan

On Tuesday, U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., sent a letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Regan outlining his priorities for the agency including protecting and preserving our environment while bolstering our economy and protecting American jobs.

In his letter, Scott also stressed the importance of ensuring Florida receives the funding and federal support needed to preserve our waterways, environment and natural resources.

Scott’s letter is below.

Dear Administrator Regan:

Thank you for taking the time to speak with me prior to your confirmation. I appreciated the chance to discuss the importance of addressing climate change and protecting and preserving our environment while bolstering our economy and protecting American jobs.

Taking care of the planet and working to create a better economy are objectives that can and must be pursued at the same time. Protecting the environment and making the investments needed to preserve our natural resources requires the United States to maintain a strong economy. During my time as Governor of Florida, we secured record investments in environmental initiatives because we grew Florida’s economy through a focus on job creation, cutting taxes and reducing burdensome regulations.

Unfortunately, President Biden has chosen to take a different and damaging approach. Within just days of taking office, President Biden canceled the Keystone Pipeline and rejoined the Paris Climate Agreement. These actions do little to achieve America’s environmental protection goals, threaten our energy independence and cost thousands of American jobs. That is unacceptable. Like the Green New Deal, these bad policies only serve to reverse the progress we’ve made and hurt our economy and small businesses.

In any environmental policy the Biden administration creates, we must make certain that all laws are followed and America’s small business owners are treated fairly. Addressing the global impacts of climate change should start with getting countries like Communist China and India to reduce their pollution, not placing unfair burdensome regulations on U.S. companies that will kill American jobs. I expect that as the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, you will advocate for small businesses and ensure fair treatment for them in any of the Biden Administration’s environmental policies.

I’ve sponsored several bills aimed at preserving Florida’s natural resources, including the bipartisan Restoring Resilient Reefs Act, to build on our efforts to restore and protect our coral reef ecosystems, and the South Florida Clean Coastal Waters Act, to expand research on blue-green algae and red tide and develop a plan with local stakeholders on how to best fight against harmful algal blooms and hypoxia. It is also time we update the outdated formula used to distribute funding to states under the Clean Water State Revolving Fund, which was last modified in 1987, to account for Florida’s growing population. I introduced an amendment to the Drinking Water and Waste Water Infrastructure Act to update this formula and ensure Florida receives the funding it deserves to preserve our waterways, environment and natural resources. I hope we can work together to pass this legislation.

I also hope you will maintain the Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 404 permit program which EPA granted to the State of Florida in December 2020. The permit gives Florida the ability to make the best decisions for our unique environment, with input from the public and environmental stakeholders, and was one I had pushed for while I was Governor. Similarly, I hope you will uphold Administrator Wheeler’s rules regarding the definition of the “waters of the United States” under the CWA. The Obama administration engaged in a power grab and took authority to regulate waters well beyond its jurisdiction. Federal overreach and overregulation hurt our economy, and I expect you to maintain these policies which allow for states and localities to efficiently and effectively keep their water clean.

In Florida, we included stakeholders from across the state to secure big wins and investments for Florida’s environment. I look forward to working with you to ensure the United States is focused on solutions that preserve the environment for generations to come without devastating our economy or placing unfair burdens on American families and small businesses.

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