Florida's Young GOP Lawmakers More Open To Discuss Climate Change
Florida lawmakers Monday dug into issues involving climate change and greenhouse gas emissions, phrases mostly kept under wraps by state Republican leaders before last year’s elections.
Senate Infrastructure and Security Chairman Tom Lee, a Thonotosassa Republican and former Senate president, said the shift in the GOP is in part a reflection of a younger generation of conservatives, including Gov. Ron DeSantis and incoming House Speaker Chris Sprowls, who “aren’t so much in denial about some of these issues.”
Lee’s committee on Monday heard from several academic experts and the governor’s chief resilience officer on the environmental challenges ahead for the state, which has a large part of its population within 20 miles of the coast.
Julia Nesheiwat, DeSantis’ chief resilience officer, said her job is building a statewide strategy over the next couple of years that prepares Florida for the economic, physical and environmental impacts of climate change.
“These aren’t issues that are just 10, 20 years, it’s happening now, we’re seeing it now as we speak,” she told committee members. “This is a very dire and urgent issue that I think we need to address.”