Florida Congressman Francis Rooney (R) just saw his bill to ban offshore oil drilling pass in the House of Representatives, a measure that could face significant pushback in the U.S. Senate and from President Donald Trump.
Rooney told The Floridian that his bill would now face an “environment” that “is more hostile” over on the senate side.
We asked Rooney about another “offshore” piece of legislation he and Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D) introduced earlier this year, the Defending Our National Marine Sanctuaries from Damaging Chemicals Act.
Bill would ban certain sunscreens that contain oxybenzone and octinoxate from being worn on beaches where coral reefs could be exposed to the chemicals.
Rooney agreed with the opinion that the bigger threat to Florida’s coral reefs is climate change, pollution, and rising sea levels, not sunscreens, which he says is “a small point” on the overall picture.
“No doubt about it,” said Rooney “The bigger threat is acid in the water, rising sea levels and sea temperatures, pollution in that stops photosynthesis. Those are the things that contribute to dead reefs.”
Rooney, who has been trying to eradicate nutrient-filled water that causes toxic algae blooms in Florida’s waterways, also said that in his region of the state, nutrient-filled, hypoxic water pollution combined with Red Tide, “caused a virtual dead sea” off southwest Florida.