Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said Sunday he wasn't going to threaten his state's economy in response to an environmental report released last week predicting that 1 million Florida homes could experience "chronic flooding" by 2100.
"No matter what we do, no matter what we do with laws, if tomorrow we stopped all -- let's say we went to all solar panels and did all that stuff, which is not realistic -- this trend would still continue," Rubio said during an interview on CNN's "State of the Union" of rising sea levels.
Initiatives were already being taken to soften the impact of tide changes to Florida's low-level coastal areas, including how the state manages water, Rubio said.
"We're all over that. We've been working on that very hard and continue to," he said. "Strategies to mitigate against those factors that are going to be in place no matter what happens with our energy policy, but I'm also not going to destroy our economy. There's a reality and balance on that end of it that we need to be focused on."
The Union of Concerned Scientists last week published a report titled "Underwater: Rising Seas, Chronic Floods, and the Implications for US Coastal Real Estate." The group of researchers found that by the end of the century, Florida's 1 million homes at risk of such flooding will account for about 40 percent of the country's properties jeopardized by the same threat.
Rubio's comments come as the Florida Panhandle grapples with the devastation wreaked last week by Hurricane Michael. So far the state's death toll from the storm is eight people.
"I'm not prepared right now to tell you that there's a need not being met by the state government that the federal government could do that hasn't been asked for," he said Sunday. "If I find something, I'll jump all over it. I believe the federal government is ready to provide any assistance that the state asks for."