America is beautiful because of its people and its land, the bounty of open spaces, beaches, rivers, streams and mountain vistas. These resources have been placed in our safekeeping for our progeny. Protecting our environment is not just a moral imperative, it’s basic self-preservation. Because of our beautiful beaches and waterways, Florida is the most dependent on tourism for its economic well-being of any state in the Union. Plundering and abusing our protected spaces and resources for short-term gain is economically foolish and morally unsound. Floridians are well aware that in a fight between man and Mother Nature, Momma will always win! Extreme weather events are becoming more frequent and more dangerous because we are refusing to address the threat of climate change. In Congress, I will work to reduce the outsized sway of companies that exploit our natural resources, and ensure that our environmental policy is based on good science and environmental stewardship.
There are literally thousands of Florida-18 residents who have been working for years to stop the algae blooms in the St. Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon. The solutions to the problem all hinge on obtaining the money needed to move and clean large volumes of water, and divert that water south of Lake Okeechobee into the Everglades. The Federal Government already owes this area $1 billion for these projects, but bad appropriations and revenue decisions made by Rep. Mast and others have put our budget in a straight-jacket, ensuring that there is no room in the budget for priorities such as these. This is not about “hugging trees.” The Lake, the rivers and the lagoon are key components of our ecosystem and the economic structure of our district. I will work tirelessly to ensure that we get the funding to actually do something to help our river.
Every year, Florida spends more than $110 million on beach replenishment projects because of sea level rise, and our beaches are put in direct jeopardy by offshore drilling. One incident like the BP oil spill would cripple our economy and befoul our beaches for years. I strongly oppose such drilling and will not support government investment in any fossil fuel projects. Furthermore, I will strongly oppose “fracking” in Florida due to the risk it poses to our water systems.
When it comes to the environment, it’s really pretty simple: follow science. Too many in Congress and this Administration refuse to do that and instead allow the polluters to write–and rewrite–the rules. In Congress, I will fight such behavior every step of the way.