Rubio, Sen. Cruz, others call for environmental protections in environment
In a speech to the National Governors Association on Thursday, Sen, Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and others called for an environmental protection agenda in the nation’s capital, where they want to work with federal lawmakers to advance legislation.
The bill, which would protect waterways and other natural areas from mining, oil and gas development, would also provide grants for environmental protection and promote a national energy strategy.
It would also create an advisory panel to help governors assess and evaluate threats to national security and environmental protection, and establish a new task force to promote energy security and clean energy.
“We need a clean environment to grow and prosper, and that’s the goal of this bill,” Cruz said.
“Our nation is headed toward a future where our planet’s resources will be depleted faster than we can replace them.”
Cruz, who has a close relationship with President Donald Trump, said the environment is a top priority of his administration, particularly during the economic downturn.
He said that the bill is a way to keep jobs in the United States, but also a way for lawmakers to get to grips with how the country is changing economically.
He also said that there is a “growing realization” that climate change poses a threat to the United Sates economy and that it is an urgent priority.
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“In my view, the environment has become the next great battleground,” Cruz told the conference, according to a copy of the speech provided by the group.
“It’s the next big battleground, because climate change is going to have catastrophic consequences for the planet and our economy.”
The legislation would not affect mining operations, which are prohibited under federal law.
Environmental groups and some Republicans have expressed concerns about the bill, saying it would open the door to new mining activities and that the industry has been in decline since 1980.
Environmental groups have also argued that the measure could lead to an explosion of new mining operations.
But Cruz and his colleagues argue that the legislation would prevent any such activity, and would instead encourage more energy efficiency, environmental protection programs and other efforts to help keep America’s waterways and natural areas safe.
The legislation has a broad bipartisan support, including from some Republicans, including Sens.
Rob Portman of Ohio and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.
Environmentalists and Democratic members of Congress, including Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, have said they will work with Cruz and others to push back against the bill and work toward a broader bipartisan solution to the nations energy needs.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.