Rick Scott Denies Claim He Told State Officials to Stop Saying 'Climate Change'

The Florida governor denies a report that he tried to keep state employees from saying "global warming" and "climate change."

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Republican Florida Governor Rick Scott speaks during a debate with former Florida Governor and Democratic candidate Charlie Crist during a televised debate at NBCUniversal/Telemundo 51 on October 10, 2014 in Miramar, Florida.

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Florida Governor Rick Scott denied Monday that he had ever directed state officials to refrain from mentioning the terms "climate change," "global warming," and "sustainability." 

A day earlier the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting published a report that quoted employees of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection who claimed that their supervisors advised them to refrain from mentioning the words that scientists have used to describe the global rise in temperatures. 

“First off, it’s not true,” Scott responded to a question about the report, adding. “Let’s look at what we’ve accomplished: We’ve had significant investments in beach re-nourishment, with flood mitigation.” 

Pressed by reporters as to whether he believed in global warming and whether it represented a problem for his state, Scott declined to answer directly.

“Here’s what we’re dealing with: We’re dealing with the problems of Florida,” Scott replied, according to Politico. “We’re dealing with beach re-nourishment, flood mitigation, dealing with making sure we push water south, we have the right storage things for the Everglades. We’re dealing with all these things.”

In the FCIR report, former DEP employee Kristina Trotta recalled a supervisor telling her not to use the terms “climate change” and “global warming” durng a 2014 staff meeting.

“We were told that we were not allowed to discuss anything that was not a true fact,” Trotta said.

Asked several times about the claims in the FCIR report, Scott held firm. 

“No. That’s not true,” he said. “As you know, I’m focused on solutions.”

Scott has repeatedly been asked about his belief in climate change since being elected governor. 

“I’m not a scientist,” Scott said in May of last year, despite numerous studies that have put South Florida at great risk due to sea level rise over coming decades. 

  

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