Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) on Sunday rejected the idea that the United States must transition away from fossil fuel use in order to avoid the catastrophic effects of global warming.
Instead the Florida senator said he prioritized mitigating the effects of climate change.
“No matter what we do with laws — let’s say we went to all solar panels and did all that stuff, which is not realistic — this trend would still continue,” Rubio told CNN’s Jake Tapper, part of an interview that touched on the devastating impact Hurricane Michael has had on Florida. “And so we’re going to have to do something about the impact that it’s having on low-level coastal areas.”
“And that means mitigation, hardening, lifting… how we manage water. We’re all over that, we’ve been working on that very hard.”
Rubio said that the effects of climate change “are going be in place no matter what happens with our energy policy — but I’m also not going to destroy our economy. There’s a reality here, and there’s a balance on that end of it that we need to be focused on.”
Earlier in the interview, Rubio said it was “complicated” to try to measure the specific impact human activity has had on climate change.
“Some of things they’re asking for [are] already happening,” he said, presumably referring to environmentalists. “If you look at the U.S. today, we’re cleaner than we used to be. Natural gas is a clean source, nuclear energy is very clean. But you have to fight the same people to approve that.”
The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s recent report — the product of dozens of authors drawing from thousands of published studies, which was peer reviewed by hundreds of scientists — concluded that a dramatic shift away from fossil fuel use is necessary to avoid catastrophic global warming.