Marco Rubio on Environment



Property rights are a basic right; eminent domain attacks it

Sometimes, because it is so rarely discussed, it is easy to forget one of the other basic rights our government was established to defend, and that is the right to property. Though it may not make headlines as often as other issues, the fundamental right to private property has been under assault for years through our government's abuses of eminent domain. Eminent domain is the authority vested in government to force the sale of private property. While this authority can be a necessary evil in rare cases related to public development, such as the building of crucial infrastructure, its modern use far exceeds this limitation. Today, it is often wielded by crony capitalist politicians to benefit wealthy and powerful private developers.
Source: Guest column by Marco Rubio on HotAir.com , Oct 8, 2015

Kelo case was egregiously flawed; limit eminent domain

One of my proudest accomplishments as a public servant was leading the effort in Florida to pass both a law and a constitutional amendment to keep private developers from using eminent domain to take property away from private owners. This effort became necessary after the egregiously flawed Kelo v. New London Supreme Court decision made private use of eminent domain legal unless states banned it. In the years since, the legislation I passed in the Florida House has become a model for states across the country.

After being founded, in part, to protect these rights, our government has strayed far from this purpose. Compromise after compromise from elected officials in both parties has resulted in a government that believes it has the power to seize your property and sell it to rent-seeking private interests. When I am president, through the justices I nominate to the Supreme Court and the legislation I sign into law, I will stand firmly against the abuse of eminent domain.

Source: Guest column by Marco Rubio on HotAir.com , Oct 8, 2015

Co-sponsored bill to prevent "soring" of show horses

Senator Rubio received a HSLF score of 12% (on the Humane Society Legislative Fund scorecard for 2014). Senator Rubio's score was determined by three votes cast on animal issues in 2014. He voted YES on the Bipartisan Sportsmen's Act of 2014, and he voted NO on the Agricultural Act of 2014. However, Senator Rubio did co-sponsor the Prevent All Soring Tactics Act which aimed to eliminate the cruel practice of "soring," in which horse trainers intentionally inflict pain on the hooves and legs of show horses to exaggerate their high-stepping gait.
Source: TreeHouseAnimals.org on 2016 presidential hopefuls , Sep 19, 2015

Fix environment with free market, not government mandates

I signed 3 executive orders limiting greenhouse-gas emissions, setting stricter limits for cars sold in Florida, and insisting that utilities generate at least 20% of their electricity from renewable sources. Surprisingly, I didn't get much immediate blowback in Florida, even from my fellow Republicans. The only exception I recall was a snarky op-ed in The Miami Herald from Marco Rubio, then Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives. Marco said he didn't really mind my focusing on the environment, but he didn't like the way I was doing it. "We must be willing to embrace the free-market approach--not European-style, big-government mandates," he declared. Which meant, in practice, do nothing.
Source: The Party's Over, by Charlie Crist, p.105-106 , Feb 4, 2014

State-run insurance carriers mean more taxpayer subsidies.

A series of devastating storms in Florida over the last few years had nearly wiped out the private property insurance market in the state, and a few companies that were still offering property insurance were charging exorbitant rates. It was the biggest political issue in Florida .Just weeks after I was sworn in as speaker, the new governor, Charlie Crist, [offered] a purely political remedy. He wanted to go to war with the insurance companies. He wanted to give the state-run insurance carrier the authority to compete in the private insurance market. But if the public carrier was unable to pay claims after another devastating storm or series of storms, taxpayers would have to cover the shortfall.

We tried to modify the bill with some small successes. We limited the public carrier's ability to expand, and got everyone to agree that the measure would be temporary.

Source: An American Son, by Marco Rubio, p.147-148 , Jun 19, 2012

Partner with private companies for transportation system

Source: 100 Innovative Ideas for Florida's Future by Marco Rubio , Nov 1, 2006

Hurricane Savings Accounts for homeowners' insurance

Source: 100 Innovative Ideas for Florida's Future by Marco Rubio , Nov 1, 2006

Utilize toll revenues to widen & improve expressways

For many years, Florida has leveraged toll facilities including Florida's Turnpike, Miami-Dade County Expressways, Orlando-Orange County Expressways, and Tampa-Hillsborough County Expressways, utilizing toll revenues to widen and improve these expressways and to build new expressways. The toll rates, while not at market rates, have been increased periodically to help fund these improvements.

Florida has numerous un-leveraged toll facilities that currently have comparatively low toll rates. These include Sunshine Skyway and Alligator Alley, both part of the interstate system. Florida should examine its existing toll practices and policies and explore opportunities for privatizing roads to help fund needed transportation improvements.

Source: 100 Innovative Ideas, by Marco Rubio, p. 81-82 , Nov 1, 2006

Increase funding for making homes hurricane-resistant

Safe construction is the best way to protect homes from hurricanes. Ensuring safe construction would require repairing many older homes. This would create large up-front costs ranging from a few hundred to several thousand dollars, but would result in long-term payoffs. If homes could incur only minimal to moderate damage in hurricanes as opposed to total destruction, insurance payouts would significantly decrease, thus reducing premiums, allowing more companies to enter the market, creating competition, and lowering prices. In 2006, the Legislature appropriated $250 million for home inspections and grants to make homes hurricane-ready. On the program's first day, over 30,000 people called to inquire if they were eligible. Florida should increase funding of home inspections and grants to upgrade homes to better withstand hurricanes by creating a recurring source of funding. Hurricane-ready homes would further drive down insurance prices and ensure greater preparedness for future storms.
Source: 100 Innovative Ideas, by Marco Rubio, p. 90 , Nov 1, 2006

Voted NO on protecting ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes ecosystems.

Whitehouse Amdt. No. 803 to S.Amdt. 799 to S. 601 (Water Resources Development Act of 2013): To create the National Endowment for the Oceans to promote the protection and conservation of United States ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes ecosystems.

Proponent's Argument for voting Yes: Mr. WHITEHOUSE: This measure was part of the RESTORE Act, [but] this piece of it fell out of the bargain. If you supported the RESTORE Act, you have already supported this bill. If you believe that deals should be deals in the Senate, then you should support this bill. It is very important that we as a body support this bill. It does not create a single extra bureaucracy or person. It works within the existing government, and it adds no funding.

MississippiRiverDelta.org Summary of RESTORE Act: The Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States Act (RESTORE Act) dedicates 80% of all Clean Water Act penalties paid by those responsible for the 2010 gulf oil disaster to Gulf Coast restoration.

Proponent's press release supporting Yes vote: The National Endowment for the Oceans, Coasts, and Great Lakes Act would provide steady funding that universities, non-profit organizations, and government agencies can count on every year to support research and restoration projects. It would be funded primarily by dedicating 12.5% of revenues from offshore energy development, including oil, gas, and renewable energy. Revenue is generated through offshore lease sales and production based royalty payments. Funds from the Endowment would be distributed through a competitive grant program to fund projects to restore habitat, manage fisheries, plan for sustainable coastal development, enhance ocean monitoring and research activities, acquire coastal properties for preservation, and relocate critical coastal infrastructure.

Reference: National Endowment for the Oceans; Bill S.Amdt. 803 ; vote number 13-SV116 on May 8, 2013

Rated 20% by HSLF, indicating an anti-animal welfare voting record.

Rubio scores 20% by the Humane Society on animal rights issues

112th Mid-Term Humane Scorecard: The Humane Society Legislative Fund has posted the final version of the 2011 Humane Scorecard, where you can track the performance of your federal lawmakers on key animal protection issues during last year. We rated legislators based on their voting behavior on measures such as agribusiness subsidies, lethal predator control, and the Endangered Species Act; their cosponsorship of priority bills on puppy mills, horse slaughter, animal fighting, and chimps in research; their support for funding the enforcement of animal welfare laws; and their leadership on animal protection. All of the priority bills whose cosponsorships we're counting enjoy strong bipartisan support; in the House, each of the four now has more than 150 cosponsors.

The Humane Scorecard is not a perfect measuring tool, but creating some reasonable yardstick and allowing citizens to hold lawmakers accountable is central to our work. When the Humane Scorecard comes out each year, it helps clarify how the animal protection movement is doing geographically, by party affiliation, and in other categories. It helps us chart our course for animals by seeing where we have been effective, and where we need to improve.

Source: HSLF website 12-HumaneS on Jan 13, 2012

No EPA permits required for forest road runoff.

Rubio co-sponsored Silviculture Regulatory Consistency Act

Congressional Summary:Amends the Clean Water Act to prohibit the EPA from requiring permits for a discharge of stormwater runoff resulting from silviculture activities.

Opponent's argument against bill: (Evergreen Magazine and Washington Forest Law Center): In Aug. 2010, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unanimously that polluted stormwater generated by logging roads is subject to regulation under the Clean Water Act. [The ruling meant] that rain runoff from forest roads constituted an industrial (not forestry) activity, which should be considered a "point source" discharge under the CWA. The lawsuit was brought because forest roads have been dumping sediment into rivers that support myriad species of salmon and resident trout, all of which are at risk from the pollution. The ruling will require State agencies to issue permits and ensure that road construction and maintenance practices limit or eliminate such discharges.

In March 2013, the US Supreme Court reversed the Ninth Circuit: permits are not required for stormwater discharges from pipes, ditches and channels along logging roads. [This legislation supports the Supreme Court ruling, against the Ninth Circuit conclusion].

Proponent's argument for bill: (Press release by sponsors):

Sen. WYDEN (D-OR): "We need a healthy timber industry to provide timber jobs and to do the restoration work that ensures healthy forests. The way to do that is to stop litigating questions that have already been answered."

Sen. CRAPO (R-ID): "The jobs and economic activities relating to the forest products industry are critical to the Pacific Northwest. The Clean Water Act was not intended to regulate stormwater runoff on forest roads."

Rep. HERRERA BEUTLER (R-WA): "At the heart of our efforts are the moms and dads employed by healthy, working forests--and passing this law will help make sure they have jobs, and will help make our forests healthy."

Source: S.971 / H.R.2026 13-S0971 on May 16, 2013

Other candidates on Environment: Marco Rubio on other issues:
FL Gubernatorial:
Alexander Snitker
Charlie Crist
Rick Scott
FL Senatorial:
Bill Nelson

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