Unlike Marco Rubio, David Jolly definitely believes that climate change is caused by human activity. But like the Florida Senator and potential 2016 presidential candidate, the Pinellas-based Congressman says his issue is with how to address the issue moving forward.
"I believe climate change is occurring and I believe man has had an impact," Jolly told CL over the weekend. "The issue that we get lost on is debating what the response should be."
On Sunday, Rubio told ABC's This Week that he doesn't believe human activity is causing "these dramatic changes to our climate the way these scientists are portraying it." That belief was backed up as the conservative approach to climate change Monday morning on MSNBC's Morning Joe program on Monday by host Joe Scarborough, who defended Rubio. "A lot of us believe the left have overreached on this issue and we’re not going to throw people out of work because of their ideological rampages," Scarborough said.
48 hours earlier Jolly was standing along the white sands of Treasure Island Beach, promoting his inclusion of funding for in a House bill for beach renourishment along the northern and southern parts of that beach (Specifically for Sunshine and Sunset Beaches respectively).
The Congressman frequently invoked the damages done to the South New Jersey shore by Hurricane Sandy in the fall of 2012 as an argument to the necessity of beach renourishment for Pinellas' beaches.
Last week a major new study on climate change called the National Climate Assessment report listed the Tampa Bay area as one of the most vulnerable in the land because of sea-level rise. Jolly says it's mostly a responsibility on local and state governments to deal with improving the infrastructure to deal with that affect.
On the federal side he says he believes in providing incentives to industries to continue to produce technology and energy itself that is better for the long term environmentally. But where he balks is when the federal government starts mandating changes, calling it "a four-hundred pound hammer" through rule-making
"My concern is always with the mandates," he says. "But sometimes that gets lost in (determining) whether the climate is changing. Of course the climate is changing — it's changed over thousands of years. It's a matter of how we measure it."
Perhaps slightly exaggerating, Jolly also told CL that he walks the beaches "every day," and says he hasn't had to change the path of those walks on the beach in the past decade.
"Do we address the long term impact of it? Yes," he says about studying how to combat climate change. "But do we need to dramatically change policy on this? I think we have to be careful about that because of the disruption it might have on our economy."