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Florida Republican leaders balk at climate change

June 7, 2014

MIAMI BEACH, Florida (AP) — Few places in the U.S. are more vulnerable to rising sea levels than low-lying South Florida. It’s a tourist and retirement mecca built on drained swampland.

Other coastal states and the Obama administration are taking aggressive measures to battle the effects of global warming. But Florida’s top Republican politicians are challenging the science and balking at government fixes.

Among the state’s chief skeptics are U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio and former Gov. Jeb Bush — both possible presidential candidates in 2016 — and Gov. Rick Scott, who’s running for re-election this year.

Scott has worked with the Republican-controlled state Legislature to dismantle Florida’s fledgling climate change initiatives. They were put into place by Scott’s predecessor — Charlie Crist, who’s now Scott’s Democratic challenger.