(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama called for "a combination of government action, business action and individual action" on Tuesday after a government report showed that climate change is already having a big impact on the nation's weather and economy. “Climate change, once considered an issue for a distant future, has moved firmly into the present,” according to the third National Climate Assessment. “Corn producers in Iowa, oyster growers in Washington State, and maple syrup producers in Vermont are all observing climate-related changes.”
The president deflected a question about whether a decision on the Keystone Pipeline would be a part of that action, saying instead that the nation has to take action on multiple fronts. "We're going to have to continue to increase the solar and wind power that we're using and other renewables," Obama said.
"The good news," according to the president, "is that we've increased solar by 10-fold, wind power by three-fold, but we need to do even more." He continued, pushing for increased efficiency in the transportation sector, new rules on power plants and how we generate power.
Many Republicans dismissed the report, with Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., ripped the idea of an energy tax on the Senate floor, saying the president's supporters would consist largely of "the kind of people who leave a giant carbon footprint and lecture everybody else about low-flow toilets."
Obama noted that the new report may educate the public that "this is not some far-away thing, we can do something about it."
"This is not just some pie-in-the-sky distant issue," Obama concluded. "This is something that already is affecting people that have been hit by floods, increased wildfires, droughts and over time this means that our kids and our grandkids won't have the same bright future or have the wonderful weather that we've enjoyed all these years."
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