California’s Brown Blasts Florida Gov.|Rick Scott Over Climate Change

     SACRAMENTO, Calif. (CN) — Ahead of Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s business-poaching trip to California, the Golden State’s own leader had a piece of advice: “Stop the silly political stunts and start doing something about climate change.”
     In a letter Monday, California Gov. Jerry Brown blasted Scott not only for returning to the Golden State to poach businesses — this time looking for companies unhappy with California’s recent minimum wage hike — but also for Scott’s stubborn resolve to ignore the risks his state faces from rising sea levels.
     “If you’re truly serious about Florida’s economic well-being, it’s time to stop the silly political stunts and start doing something about climate change — two words you won’t even let state officials say,” Brown wrote. “The threat is real and so too will be the devastating impacts.”
     Brown enclosed a recent report by the nonpartisan Risky Business Project, which found that Florida faces more risk than any other state that insured property could be inundated by high tides, storm surges and sea level rise. In particular, the report found that by 2030 $69 billion in coastal property could be flooded by high tide that is unaffected today — a figure that rises to $152 billion by 2050.
     The report also found that Florida’s economy could take a hit in the billions of dollars due to lost productivity and storm damage related to extreme weather.
     “So while you’re enjoying a stroll on one of California’s beautiful beaches this week, don’t stick your head in the sand. Take a few minutes to read the rest of this report. There’s no time to waste,” Brown told Scott, a Republican.
     California’s governor also couldn’t resist taking a jab at Florida’s economic standing in the world compared to the Golden State.
     “Rick, a fact you’d like to ignore: California is the seventh-largest economic power in the world,” Brown wrote. “We’re competing with nations like Brazil and France, not states like Florida.”
     Ahead of his trip to California, Scott has taken out radio ads touting Florida as a state with no income tax and few regulations. One of the ads says California’s minimum wage increase “hurts the same people it was supposed to help.”
     Officially, Brown’s office last week welcomed Scott back “as one of the millions of tourists flocking to the Golden State this time of year,” and noted that since Scott’s last poaching expedition California has added twice as many jobs as Florida.
     Meanwhile, statewide polls conducted in March on the governors’ support in their states found Brown, a Democrat, enjoys a 60 percent approval rating while Scott’s stands at 38 percent.

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