The subject of climate change was raised on Thursday at the Republican debate in Miami – a city with pressing concerns about its effects.
Marco Rubio, the Florida senator fighting strongly on home ground as he sought to revive his presidential campaign, was asked: “Will you acknowledge the reality of the scientific consensus of climate change?”
Rubio said: “Sure, the climate is changing … There was never a time when the climate was not changing.”
But Rubio then said flooding in south Florida was caused by the fact that it was built on a swamp. He favored mitigation measures, he said.
“As far as a law that we can pass in Washington that can change the weather?” he asked. “There’s no such thing.”
Rubio then moved on to a familiar theme, decrying the Obama-era Environmental Protection Agency, emissions regulations and “the war on coal”.
“These laws that people are asking us to pass will do nothing for the environment and hurt the economy,” Rubio said.
The debate continued, Ohio governor John Kasich saying that “I do believe we contribute to climate change” but adding: “You can have strong environmental policy at the same time as you have strong economic growth.”