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Obama's climate plans get mixed review during Senate hearing

Jan. 17, 2014 at 7:41 AM

WASHINGTON, Jan. 17 (UPI) -- A climate director at the Natural Resources Defense Council said President Obama's effort to address climate change needs support but others weren't convinced.

Obama's "historic climate action plan will set us on the right track to cut dangerous pollution that threatens our health and well-being," Daniel Lashof said at a U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works hearing Thursday.

The panel heard testimony on Obama's plans to cut pollution and tackle climate change and got a mixed reaction.

Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana, the ranking Republican on the panel, said the president's climate plan would lead to the closure of power plants and lead to higher energy costs for consumers.

He said the plan undermines U.S. economic recovery, would keep certain energy reserves off limits to energy companies and add another layer of "red tape" to federal regulations.

More than a dozen environmental groups, led by the Sierra Club, sent a letter to Obama saying his "all-of-the-above" energy plan was at odds with his climate agenda.

"Such a policy accelerates development of fuel sources that can negate the important progress you've already made on lowering U.S. carbon pollution, and it undermines U.S. credibility in the international community," they said.

In June, the president offered $8 billion in loan guarantees to support efforts to advance energy efficiency and vowed to set limits on emissions from existing power plants.

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