UPDATE 3-Obama takes on power plants as part of new climate plan

Tue Jun 25, 2013 7:13pm EDT
 
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* Obama: Keystone pipeline must not exacerbate carbon pollution

* Republicans say president's plan hurts economy, kills jobs

* Court challenges ahead

By Jeff Mason and Roberta Rampton

WASHINGTON, June 25 (Reuters) - President Barack Obama tried to revive his stalled climate change agenda on Tuesday, promising new rules to cut carbon emissions from U.S. power plants and other domestic actions including support for renewable energy.

Obama also signaled he would block construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada if it contributed to climate change. That does not mean the project is doomed, however. A State Department report, which Obama could reference, has said the pipeline would not change the outlook for carbon emissions because the development of Canada's oil sands would continue whether it is approved or not.

Canada weighed in on Obama's remarks, saying it did not think there would be a net increase in carbon emissions if the proposed pipeline from the Alberta oil sands to Texas is built, according to the country's natural resources minister.

Obama's long-awaited climate plan, detailed in a speech at Georgetown University, drew criticism from the coal industry, which would be hit hard by carbon limits, and Republicans, who accused the Democratic president of advancing policies that harm the economy and kill jobs. Environmentalists largely cheered the proposals, though some said the moves did not go far enough.

Obama's first-term attempt to reduce climate-warming carbon emissions in a "cap and trade" system was thwarted by Congress, and his administration's long process of studying whether to approve the Keystone XL pipeline has raised hackles from business groups and Republican critics.   Continued...