By KEVIN DERBY
Fresh off getting a bill through the U.S. House to ban drilling off the Florida coast, U.S. Rep. Francis Rooney, R-Fla., has a new perch to push his environmental agenda.
Back in July, Rooney joined the U.S. House Science, Space, and Technology Committee. On Monday, Rooney announced he was joining the committee’s U.S. House Environment Subcommittee.
U.S. Rep Frank Lucas, R-Ok., who leads Republicans on the committee, praised Rooney on Monday.
“I’m pleased to have Francis Rooney as a member of our Environment Subcommittee,” said Lucas. “Rep. Rooney has established himself as a strong voice on the issues that impact his district and I look forward to working with him on practical policy solutions to environmental challenges.”
Rooney said he would use his new assignment to help Southwest Florida.
“Southwest Florida has a tourism-driven economy that depends on clean water and a healthy environment,” Rooney said. “The subcommittee has jurisdiction over much of the non-defense, federal environment research programs that provide innovative solutions to our environmental challenges.”
Rooney said he would use his new post to continue efforts to reduce the threat of toxic algae.
“One of the biggest challenges for our community is the threat of Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs). Serving on this subcommittee will allow for a more precise impact on the solutions to HABs and other challenges. I look forward to working with all of my colleagues on the committee to address these environmental challenges including the impacts of offshore drilling, rising sea levels and temperatures, and acidity in our air and waters,” Rooney said.
Rooney continues to sit on the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee where he served as the vice chairman last year when the GOP controlled the chamber. The Southwest Florida congressman continues to lead Republicans on the U.S. Western Hemisphere, Civilian Security, and Trade Subcommittee. Rooney also leads the Climate Solutions Caucus with U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla.