Rep. Curbelo sets the record straight on climate change

Rep. Carlos Curbelo co-founder of the Climate Solutions Caucus

Rep. Carlos Curbelo, Republican co-founder of the Climate Solutions Caucus

Rep. Curbelo sets the record straight on climate change

By Mary Gable

We’ve been saying it for years—when members of Congress know their constituents are with them, they are more likely to stand up for what’s right.

That’s just what happened last week after EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s troubling comments denying the basic science of climate change. Dozens of scientists have formally rebuked Pruitt for his false claims—and so has Rep. Carlos Curbelo, a second-term Republican representative from Florida. Shortly after Pruitt’s remarks were made public, Curbelo released the following statement:

“Rising carbon emissions have been a contributing factor to climate change for decades. That is a scientific fact and the reality facing communities like my district.

The EPA is tasked with the very responsibility of helping to lower the impact of carbon emissions, and for Mr. Pruitt to assert otherwise without scientific evidence is reckless and unacceptable.”

Brian Fitzpatrick, a fellow Republican from Pennsylvania, echoed Curbelo’s response on Twitter, retweeting Curbelo’s statement with the message “100% agree.”

For Curbelo and his constituents, climate change is more than a remote threat. Curbelo represents Florida’s 26th Congressional district, which encompasses the state’s southernmost tip. Rising sea levels and harsher storms could devastate the region, endangering lives and displacing thousands of people.

It’s perhaps no surprise, then, that Curbelo is a cofounder of the House’s bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus. The caucus was formed in 2016 by Curbelo and Florida Democrat Ted Deutch. As of this writing, the caucus is 26 members strong, all committed to exploring policy options that address the impacts, causes, and challenges of our changing climate. Rep. Fitzpatrick is also a member, and new Republicans and Democrats are joining them every few weeks.

With equal numbers of Republicans and Democrats, the Climate Solutions Caucus is giving concerned members of Congress strength in numbers and making climate an issue on which both parties can lead. We thank Rep. Curbelo for his response to Scott Pruitt’s remarks and look forward to seeing him and the rest of the Climate Solutions Caucus take meaningful action on behalf of their districts and the planet.

Mary Gable
Mary Gable is a writer and editor who focuses on sustainability and innovation. She's based in Seattle, but takes her work on the road whenever she can.
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