Florida Democrat Hits Home-State Governor Over Climate Gag Rule

Bill Nelson’s budget amendment would prevent “˜muzzling’ of climate-change terms.

Florida Governor Rick Scott is pictured. Erik Kellar/Getty Images
National Journal
Jason Plautz
Add to Briefcase
Jason Plautz
March 26, 2015, 8:27 a.m.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott is seeing some in-state fire over his reported ban on state agencies using the term “climate change.”

Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson has introduced an amendment to the Senate budget that would prevent any ban on federal agencies and employees from talking about climate change.

In a speech Thursday introducing the amendment, Nelson said it was a pushback about “news reports “¦ that indeed some folks are trying to muzzle scientists from speaking about the science involving the oceans, the atmosphere, the climate, and the weather.”

“Can you imagine if we were going to muzzle researchers at the National Institute of Health and censor them, saying they couldn’t use medical terms like ‘asthma’ [or] ‘cancer’? What if that were off limits?” he asked. “That’s not even a question we would consider.”

The senator from Florida’s amendment and speech are thinly veiled swipes at Scott. Earlier this month, the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting reported that employees and contractors had been told by supervisors to not use specific terms related to climate change or global warming.

Scott has denied that such a ban was in place, but allegations from former state employees have snowballed. Last week, an Environmental Protection Department official said he was put on leave and told to get medical clearance for discussing climate change and the Keystone XL pipeline. And a widely shared video shows the state’s chief of emergency management avoiding saying “climate change” in a state Senate hearing.

Nelson’s amendment would specifically block the Senate from adopting any measure that would censor a federal employee or agency from using “terms common in scientific literature describing atmospheric, climate, weather, or oceanic processes.”

What We're Following See More »
WAS LEADING COMMUNICATIONS EFFORTS
Judiciary Committee Staffer Quits Amid Harassment Claims
8 hours ago
THE LATEST

"Garrett Ventry, a communications adviser for the Senate Judiciary Committee's GOP majority who was leading the committee's response to allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, has stepped down."

Source:
DETAILS STILL BEING NEGOTIATED
Ford Agrees to Testify on Thursday
9 hours ago
THE LATEST

"The Senate Judiciary Committee tentatively agreed to a hearing on Thursday with Christine Blasey Ford regarding her allegation that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her while in high school, according to a person briefed on a call between the panel and her lawyers on Saturday night." Details are still being worked out, but "on Friday, the two parties agreed to limit the number of cameras in the hearing room, ensure Ford and Kavanaugh are not in the same room together, offer Ford breaks in her testimony and security from the U.S. Capitol Police."

Source:
WEDNESDAY?
Judiciary Committee Counteroffers on Ford Appearance
1 days ago
THE LATEST
THIS WILL NOT HELP
Trump Says Ford Should Have Filed Charges 36 Years Ago
1 days ago
THE LATEST
DOESN'T WANT TO BE NEAR KAVANAUGH
Ford Would Like to Testify on Thursday
2 days ago
THE LATEST

"Christine Blasey Ford, the woman accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault in the 1980s, is reportedly willing to publicly testify in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee next Thursday. Lawyers for Ford told committee staffers during a call Thursday evening to negotiate details of a potential hearing that she wanted Kavanaugh to testify before her and she does not want to be in the same room as him, according to multiple reports."

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login