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Bruce Ritchie, 01/02/2013 – 04:13 PM.

A Florida Department of Economic Opportunity report on the state's business climate is calling for a statewide strategy to ensure adequate future water supplies and for a statewide energy strategy to reduce dependence on fossil fuels. 

The Legislature in 2011 passed bills reducing state oversight of local government land-use decisions and eliminating the Department of Community Affairs, while moving state planners to the new Department of Economic Opportunity. The Legislature also directed the new department to issue a report on Florida's business and economic development climate each year before Dec. 31.

While mostly laying out strategies for attracting new industries and creating jobs, the 2011 report made only slight mention of the need for protecting "critical lands, waters and habitats" and addressing potential harm from major developments.

The 2012 report, received Wednesday from DEO in response to a request, still deals mostly with the need for coordination among government agencies to attract new businesses and create jobs. But it also adds a few details about the need for policies dealing with growth management and environmental protection. 

The report says there is a critical need for a more "proactive, effective and collaborative approach" on development and infrastructure decisions at the state, regional and local levels.

DEO calls on the Department of Transportation and Department of Environmental Protection to initiate a statewide process to address economic development, land use, infrastructure and environmental stewardship over a 50-year period.