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Mucarsel-Powell Urges President To Address Environmental Concerns In State Of The Union Address

Mucarsel-Powell Urges President To Address Environmental Concerns In State Of The Union Address

Washington, February 4, 2020

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, in advance of President Trump’s State of the Union Address, U.S. Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (FL-26), Vice Chair of the Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee, released the following statement on what she hopes the President will discuss, including forging a plan to combat climate change, taking action to protect America’s drinking water and coral reefs, supporting House Democrats’ bold and innovative infrastructure framework plan, and addressing rising health care costs and America’s gun violence epidemic.

“Later today, President Trump will have a momentous opportunity to put people over politics and work with House Democrats to create meaningful change for our country. I am hopeful that seeing the younger generation of environmental leaders, like my guest tonight, Marsella Munoz, at this historic event will remind the president of the need to prioritize the conservation of our coral reefs, the protection of our clean water and addressing climate change. My colleagues, our guests, and I will serve as a reminder to the president that he has been historically absent in addressing environmental issues, putting forth a plan to expand access and lower the cost of quality health care, while protecting Americans with pre-existing conditions, and working with Congress to enact sensible gun safety measures that are supported by the overwhelming majority of Americans. South Florida and the nation does not have time to wait—we need action now.

“In South Florida, we’ve seen unprecedented levels of coral bleaching begin to destroy one of our most important ecosystems and coastal defenses and threaten the extinction of over one million species.The climate crisis, one of the most pressing issues facing our country, has led to increased flooding and extreme storms, which have forced thousands of families out of their homes and negatively impacted South Florida’s fishing and tourism economy.

“It falls on all of us to do what needs to be done and take bold action on this crisis.

“I am proud that scientific leaders in my district are taking charge and finding innovative solutions that I am hopeful the president will support. In November, I highlighted the incredible work being done at Florida International University (FIU) to create environmentally sustainable 3D-printed mangroves to support mangrove growth and protect our shorelines. There are young researchers, like my guest tonight, who are working to understand exactly how we can help our ecosystems thrive. In the last few years, it’s become clear that harmful chemicals commonly found in sunscreen are hurting our coral reefs. That is why last year, I introduced legislation with my Republican colleague, Rep. Francis Rooney, to ban these toxic chemicals from marine sanctuaries. I urge the president to join me in listening to the science and taking appropriate action to save our communities. Last week, I joined my colleagues on the Everglades Caucus insending a letter to President Trump urging the allocation of $250 million to restore our beautiful Everglades. The Everglades are a national treasure and one of the most unique, important ecosystems in the country that millions rely on for clean drinking water. Restoring the Everglades must be a national priority, and I hope that the president will address our request in tonight’s address and respond to our letter swiftly. 

“I hope the president will fulfill his promise to fix America’s infrastructure and announce his support of Democrats’ historic Moving Forward infrastructure plan, which my colleagues and I released last week to create good-paying jobs while taking significant steps towards a low-carbon, sustainable future. Our cities need drastic federal investment to repair crumbling infrastructure and prepare for the increasingly dangerous consequences of climate change. Our framework tackles gridlock on our highways, protects workers, and invests in protections for Americans’ drinking water. 

“We must do all we can to take the necessary steps to address the concerns of the people we were elected to represent.”