For the first time, a Republican joined Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse for his regular climate change floor speech series, “Time to Wake Up.”

Senator Bill Cassidy, whose state of Louisiana is facing huge climate challenges such as shore erosion and sea level rise, called Louisianans “very awakened” to the climate crisis. Whitehouse recently toured the state, along with Rep. Garret Graves, Ranking Republican on the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis.

“We know that sea levels are rising, so what do we do to prepare for it and to mitigate that which otherwise might occur?” Cassidy said to E&E News. As to whether he and Whitehouse will take their relationship one step future with climate solutions legislation, he said: “It’s probably premature to say we’re going to be in lockstep or even going to be in unison [on climate policy], but I think it’s certainly clear to say that we both think that the coastal communities are under threat.” In the past, Cassidy has talked about finding “common ground” with Democrats on energy policies.