Obama warns of 'false choice' between growth, environment

March 3, 2012 10:14

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama, defending himself against election-year attacks over his energy policies, said on Friday that his critics were trying to set up a "false choice" between protecting the environment and boosting the economy.

Republicans, citing Democrat Obama's rejection of TransCanada's Keystone XL crude oil pipeline, have accused Obama of pandering to environmental groups important to his political base at the expense of job-creating energy projects.

"There will always be people in this country who say that we've got to choose between clean air, clean water and growing the economy, between doing right by the environment and putting people back to work," Obama told an audience in Washington that included hunters, fishmermen, conservationists and small business owners.

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