Press Releases

Curbelo To EPA Administrator: Reconsider Comments on CO2 Emissions, Come to South Florida to See Effects Firsthand

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Washington, D.C., March 20, 2017 | Joanna Rodriguez (202-225-2778) | comments
“Reasonable people can disagree about how to respond to the risks of climate change. But there should be little disagreement that it is something that must be done.”
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Representative Carlos Curbelo (FL-26), co-chair of the Climate Solutions Caucus and co-sponsor of the Republican Climate Resolution introduced last week, urged Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt to reevaluate his pervious comments regarding carbon dioxide emissions not having an impact on climate change, and invited him to South Florida to see the effects of sea-level rise firsthand.
 
“I was concerned to see your March 9 comments questioning the effect that the increasing concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide has had on Earth’s climate,” Curbelo wrote. “Your statements contradict the conclusions not only of our best scientists but of your own agency. I ask that you please reevaluate your comments.”
 
“The residents in my Congressional District are already beginning to feel the effects of climate change in their daily lives. I invite you to visit anytime so you can see firsthand the very real threat climate change poses on our community, from rising sea-levels, coral bleaching, to threatening our freshwater supplies,” Curbelo added. “We cannot ignore these challenges.  As the top public official charged with keeping our environment safe and healthy, you are uniquely positioned to heed these concerns. Reasonable people can disagree about how to respond to the risks of climate change. But there should be little disagreement that it is something that must be done.  We must work towards practical, market-based solutions to address this serious issue.”
 
Curbelo previously condemned Pruitt’s comments earlier this month and most recently on CBS This Morning this weekend.
 
The full text of the letter is available below and a PDF is available here.
 
March 17, 2017
 
The Honorable Scott Pruitt
Administrator
Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20460
 
Dear Administrator Pruitt,
 
I was concerned to see your March 9 comments questioning the effect that the increasing concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide has had on Earth’s climate.  Your statements contradict the conclusions not only of our best scientists but of your own agency.  I ask that you please reevaluate your comments.
 
Climate change is occurring and greenhouse gas emissions are not only a contributor to warming our planet, but are the principal agents driving recent warming.  Over the past century, temperatures have increased; sea levels have risen; and weather conditions around the world have changed.  It is not a coincidence that these changes have occurred at the same time tremendous amounts of carbon dioxide have been added to the atmosphere.  In fact, the scientific predictions of what would happen in a world warmed by carbon dioxide have largely come to pass; and your own agency agrees that carbon dioxide and other human influences are significantly responsible for the global warming we have witnessed.
 
Science and research also demonstrates the degree of future change will depend on how much carbon dioxide we continue to add to the atmosphere. Higher temperatures will exacerbate the effects of climate change on sea levels, weather extremes, and physical and ecological conditions worldwide and in the United States.  These changes will put our national security, local economies, and American lives at risk. We can choose to reduce those risks by monitoring and judiciously reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
 
The residents in my Congressional District are already beginning to feel the effects of climate change in their daily lives. I invite you to visit anytime so you can see firsthand the very real threat climate change poses on our community, from rising sea-levels, coral bleaching, to threatening our freshwater supplies.  We cannot ignore these challenges.  As the top public official charged with keeping our environment safe and healthy, you are uniquely positioned to heed these concerns.
 
Reasonable people can disagree about how to respond to the risks of climate change. But there should be little disagreement that it is something that must be done.  We must work towards practical, market-based solutions to address this serious issue.
 
I urge you to consider how you can put your own agency to work to achieve solutions that will provide good jobs, economic growth, and a safe climate for us and future Americans. That begins with clearly and honestly communicating the best scientific understanding we have available today.
 
Cordially,
 
Carlos Curbelo
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