Marco Rubio has spent his entire career planning his next campaign while ignoring the problems facing our state. Recently, as Florida’s environmental and public health crises have deepened, Rubio’s sudden interest in finding solutions highlights the fact that he has been missing in action as these problems unfolded over the last few years. On everything from Zika to algae blooms to climate change, Rubio is only exerting enough effort to say that nothing could have prevented these crises now threatening Floridians.
“Florida is in the epicenter of growing public health and environmental crises, and instead of offering legislative solutions or working with local partners, Marco Rubio is slinking around campaign photo ops pretending his absence didn’t contribute to worsening conditions,” said Florida Democratic Party Chair Allison Tant. “Florida is at the center of the Zika and toxic water crises, is experiencing frightening climate change consequences, and we are still having to convince our Senator that pollution is bad. There are 20 million people in Florida who have only had one active senator over the past six years, and as public health and environmental emergencies worsen, we know that Florida cannot afford another term with an anti-science Senator.”
Rubio’s record of attacking water safety in Florida goes back before the blue-green algae blooms became toxic on his watch. In 2007, Rubio voted to raid Florida’s Clean Water Trust Fund for over half of its funding, says that supporting the environment would “destroy the economy,” opposed clean energy efforts, and was the only Senator in a state affected by the BP oil spill to vote against aid to help clean up the environmental devastation. Rubio even issued an official release fighting against Clean Water protection laws in October 2015.
Only in the last few months, as hundreds of Floridians became infected with the Zika virus, has Rubio stopped insisting there was “no crisis.” Rubio has only supported a politicized Zika bill that restricted funding for family planning and included extra protections for the confederate flag.
Rubio pushes his anti-science agenda to irresponsible limits and doesn’t believe there’s enough evidence to prove climate change is real. Despite the fact that Rubio’s Miami neighborhood floods at high tide, he will not acknowledge any anthropogenic contributions to rising oceans, and will not proactively fight against these environmental consequences.