July 2, 2018 / Press Releases

Senator Bill Nelson, Environmental Leaders Highlight Climate Change, Sea Level Rise in Tampa

Tampa, FL – U.S. Senator Bill Nelson joined Florida environmental leaders on Monday to highlight the dangers of inaction on climate change and sea level rise, as risks of intensifying hurricanes grow, resulting from warming waters. As the oil industry continues to push for drilling off Florida’s coasts, Nelson and environmental leaders talked about the importance of legislative action to keep oil rigs away from Florida’s coasts and beaches.

“Florida is ground zero for the effects of climate change and sea level rise, which put our communities at risk, especially when we’re in the midst of another hurricane season. Instead of denying science, we must do all we can to protect Floridians from the growing dangers of refusing to act and prepare Florida for the effects of climate change,” said Nelson, who was joined by leaders and members of the League of Conservation Voters Action Fund, Florida Conservation Voters and the Sierra Club. “Refusing to act on climate change is a threat to our health, our environment and our tourism-driven economy.”

Nelson highlighted the continued movement to endanger Florida’s greatest natural resource with efforts to allow oil rigs closer to the state. The U.S. House just voted down a proposal from U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor of Tampa to keep oil rigs off of Florida’s Gulf coast, further evidence the threat is not going away. Nelson introduced legislation in 2017 to extend the oil drilling moratorium, which passed the U.S. Senate in 2006 with bipartisan support, to 2027.

“As long as I’m a senator, there will be no oil rigs off Florida’s coast,” Nelson said.

Aliki Moncrief of Florida Conservation Voters, who announced the endorsement of Senator Nelson on behalf of the League of Conservation Voters Action Fund, thanked the senator for his steady and strong support of environmental issues. These policies not only protect our environment – they protect the health of Floridians and Florida’s economy.

“Those of us who are dedicated to protecting Florida’s water, air and wildlife know Senator Nelson is an ally and appreciate his steadfast support of efforts to protect our environment,” Moncrief said. “Senator Nelson has been a champion of our environment, the most ardent opponent of drilling off our shores, and a proponent of clean energy.”

“His support is a stark contrast from his opponent, Rick Scott, who has a disastrous record. Scott has taken Florida backwards and used his power as governor – not to help the environment – but to dismantle proven safeguards and slash agencies proven to protect our natural resources. Worse than ignoring the problem, Rick Scott exacerbated it.”

Nelson has led the fight against the expansion of oil drilling off of Florida’s coast, is a strong advocate for the development of clean and renewable energy, is leading efforts in the Senate to help communities prepare for the effects of climate change and was a lead sponsor of the RESTORE Act that ensured funds from penalties for the BP oil spill went directly to citizens affected by the spill and to restoring the Gulf Coast.