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Obama plans 'assault' on climate change
02:06 - Source: CNN

Story highlights

Obama outlines second-term environmental priorities in address on climate change

He directs EPA to establish carbon pollution standards for plants

Texas-to-Canada Keystone pipeline in final stages of government review

March poll: 47% think the government is doing too little to protect the environment

Washington CNN  — 

President Barack Obama unveiled an aggressive new climate change strategy on Tuesday that would limit pollution from existing coal-fired power plants, and he made clear that approval of the Keystone XL pipeline depended on the project not increasing overall greenhouse gas emissions.

Obama raised the two politically charged issues during a sweeping address on second-term environmental priorities that included his plan of executive actions that don’t require congressional approval in an era of partisan gridlock in Washington.

He also pledged global leadership on climate change and to redouble U.S. efforts to fight it.

The Georgetown University speech came as environmental constituents and climate change advocates press him to take more aggressive action and to push harder for clean energy alternatives.

Obama said he was taking action for the “sake of our children and the health and safety of all Americans,” saying new initiatives on his environmental agenda built around clean-energy industry and policy will spur the economy and leave a cleaner planet for future generations.

“We can do all of that as long as we don’t fear the future and instead we seize it,” Obama said, adding that his plan was a signal t