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White House: Obama Has Taken Aggressive Steps to Tackle Climate Change

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- In response to Al Gore’s Rolling Stone essay charging that President Obama “failed to use the bully pulpit to make the case for bold action on climate change,” a White House spokesman tells ABC News that the president “has been clear since day one that climate change poses a threat domestically and globally.”

Gore accused the president of having done little to move the country forward on the issue of climate change.

“President Obama has never presented to the American people the magnitude of the climate crisis. He has simply not made the case for action,” wrote Gore, who won a Nobel Prize in 2007 for his work on climate change.

Not so, says the White House.

“Under his leadership we have taken the most aggressive steps in our country’s history to tackle this challenge,” the president’s spokesman said, pointing to the investments made through the Recovery Act.

“We made the largest investment ever in clean energy, creating jobs and reducing dangerous carbon pollution.  After decades of delay, we set aggressive new joint fuel economy and emissions standards for cars and trucks, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 960 million metric tons and saving 1.8 billion barrels of oil over the life of the program. The administration will also soon set the first-ever national policy to increase fuel efficiency and decrease carbon pollution from medium and heavy-duty trucks. These steps not only protect us from the damaging effects of climate change, but they also create jobs and cut costs for families,” he told ABC.

Even the president, however, seemed to admit recently that the administration’s efforts on climate change have left something to be desired.

“We want to invent the next big energy breakthrough that is going to make sure that we're no longer dependent on foreign oil, and we can start finally doing something about climate change, and we're not vulnerable to huge spikes in gasoline prices,” Obama said at a fundraiser in New York in April. “We've had some setbacks, and some things haven't happened as fast as people wanted them to happen. I know. I know the conversations you guys have. ‘Oh, you didn't get the public option’ and ‘Gosh, I wish that energy bill had passed.’ I understand the frustrations. I feel them, too.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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