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U.S. ties economy to carbon-free energy

WASHINGTON, March 2 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama stressed energy as one of his top three priorities during his first address to Congress.

"It begins with energy," he said. "We know the country that harnesses the power of clean, renewable energy will lead the 21st century."

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Clean energy and carbon dioxide reductions are also on Congress' plate, Chemical and Engineering News reports.

Recently, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee heard Rajendra K. Pachauri, chair of the Nobel Prize-winning U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, again call for global action to reduce climate change.

The House Science and Technology Subcommittee on Energy and Environment also recently held a hearing on monitoring, reporting and verifying greenhouse-gas emissions, and the House Ways and Means Committee heard what scientists think should be the environmental objectives of federal legislation.

Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., chair of the Energy and Commerce Committee, wants to move a carbon dioxide cap-and-trade bill through his committee by late June, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., pledged action on overall energy legislation.

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