Officials at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection have been banned from using the terms “climate change” and “global warming” in any official communication, former employees say. “That message was communicated to me and my colleagues by our superiors in the Office of General Counsel,” said Christopher Byrd, a lawyer with the DEP’s Office of General Counsel in Tallahassee from 2008 to 2013. Another former DEP employee, Kristina Trotta, said she was told in 2014 not to say “climate change” or “global warming” during a staff meeting. Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s office has denied that the ban was a state rule. “There’s no policy on this,” said Jeri Bustamante, a spokesperson with the governor’s office, in an email. Scott repeatedly questioned whether climate change was caused by human action and his office was called an “environmental disaster” by the Tampa Bay Tribune.
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