Florida governor denies banning term 'climate change'

Florida Governor Rick Scott attends a road expansion event at the Casa Maiz restaurant as he fields questions from reporters about climate change on March 9, 2015 in Hialeah, Florida.

MIAMI - Florida Governor Rick Scott denied Monday ever barring officials from using the words "climate change" and "global warming" in the low-lying US state prone to sea level rise.

The Florida Center for Investigative Reporting that Scott's policy had already impacted reports and other official documents, educational efforts and public policy at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

The agency has about 3,200 employees and a $1.4 billion budget. The report cited former officials and documents it obtained.

But Scott flatly denied the report.

"It's not true," the Republican governor told The Miami Herald, which had published the report on Sunday.

Scott refused to elaborate, declining to say whether the agency believes in or plans for climate change and its impact.

Most of Florida's population of more than 20 million people live near the coast.