WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama is told Congress that he will take action to combat climate change if lawmakers don't do it themselves.
In his State of the Union address Tuesday, the president said Congress should write legislation that would give polluters market-based incentives to reduce the emissions blamed for global warming. He said if lawmakers don't do that, his administration will craft executive actions that would cut pollution, help get communities ready for the effects of climate change and encourage increased use of cleaner sources of energy.
Obama says progress can be made against climate change without interrupting economic growth.
The president says that with extreme weather getting more intense and increasingly frequent, lawmakers can believe those events are a coincidence or they can act before it's too late.
He also talked about manufacturing stating, he is launching three manufacturing hubs and is asking Congress to create 15 more that can create locations with partnerships between the private sector and the federal government to create high-tech jobs.
The proposal is a central element of Obama's plan to spur manufacturing, which has been a bright spot in the U.S. economy. Manufacturing expanded at a much faster pace in January compared with December.
Obama said the government could help accelerate that trend.
He specifically cited companies that are creating jobs in the U.S. that had been overseas, including Caterpillar, Ford, Intel and Apple.
He called for continued spending on science and innovation.
The president is also emphasizing the need for more background checks for gun buyers in his State of the Union address, saying that overwhelming majorities of Americans favor the proposal as a way to keep firearms from criminals.
Obama said Tuesday night that senators from both parties are working on legislation to prevent people from legally buying guns and then giving them to criminals.
He said police chiefs want lawmakers to ban "weapons of war" and magazines carrying large amounts of ammunition so law enforcement officers won't be outgunned.
The president proposed all those ideas after the December killings of 20 first-graders in Connecticut. But expanded background checks is the only one he described as having vast support - a description that matches public polling and reflects congressional sentiment too.