Climate change is real and mankind is causing it. Since the start of the Industrial Revolution in the 18th Century to today, about 200 years, we have burned carbon in the form of oil, gas, and coal that Nature took billions of years to lock away.
The planet’s temperature is rising. More carbon in our atmosphere also means that our oceans are becoming more acidic.
That threatens our coral reefs, the foundation of our ocean’s food chain. Once the reefs die, the oceans will not be far behind.
But it is not too late. We need a 21st Century Manhattan Project to hurry the development of green, renewable energy sources. And we need to step research to make carbon remediation quick and affordable.
Investing in clean and renewable energy, including wind, solar, tidal, and hydrogen fuel cell technology, will have the added benefit of reducing our dependence on foreign oil and the threats, both explicit and implicit from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) cartel and Russia. We also need to enact legislation that will ensure that a wide variety of fuel sources are available at our service stations.
We also need to increase transparency of our domestic energy production. We should require oil and gas drillers to disclose what fracking chemical they are using. We also need to continue the ban on offshore oil drilling along Florida’s coasts. And we need to ensure that oil companies and their contractors and subcontractors are fully financially responsible for any spills, including cleanup costs, environmental damage, and individual loss.
Sea Level Rise
Sea level rise comes with climate change. The Third National Climate Assessment, released May 6, 2014, projected a sea level rise of 1 to 4 feet by 2100 if carbon emissions continue at their present rate.
At that rate, much of District 27 would be several feet underwater, with high tides moving inland several miles.
A national policy that encourages the use of wind, solar, and tidal energy generation, together with a push toward greater fuel economy and energy efficiency can slow the sea level rise that could consume our children and our grandchildren.
I also support beach re-nourishment and coastal wetlands and coral reef restoration efforts, which will reduce the threat from storm surge flooding.
Finally, I will make sure that the federal government continues to fund flood insurance, and that the dollars we pay for flood insurance remain in the State of Florida. We need funding for resiliency infrastructure, and Kristen will make this one of her top priorities in Washington.