06/25/2013 01:53 pm ET Updated Jun 25, 2013

Obama Climate Plan Sparks Hestitant Optimism From Environmentalists

Environmentalists reacted with hesitant optimism to President Barack Obama's climate change plan, laid out in an energy speech at Georgetown University on Tuesday.

Obama announced a range of steps including efforts to cut U.S. carbon dioxide pollution from new and existing power plants, expand renewable energy development on public lands and support climate-resilient investments.

“President Obama is finally putting action behind his words," Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune said in a press statement ahead of the speech, echoing many environmentalists' support of the president's plan.

Despite Obama's nod to fossil fuels, Brune and other environmentalists remained optimistic while also emphasizing the importance of the upcoming Keystone XL pipeline decision.

Author and 350.org founder Bill McKibben echoed Brune's call for Obama to reject the controversial tar sands pipeline in a statement Monday. "The president is a logical man, and taking two steps forward only to take two back would make no sense."



Reactions To Obama's Climate Speech