Back from golf course, Obama tees up renewable energy, Iran

Reuters News
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Posted: Aug 24, 2015 2:11 PM

By Julia Edwards

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama, fresh from vacation and nine rounds of golf on Martha’s Vineyard, is launching into a busy two weeks promoting renewable energy and his nuclear deal with Iran.

With the U.S. presidential election campaign and China's stock market dominating headlines, Obama was set to speak on Monday in Las Vegas on clean energy, then travel to New Orleans on Thursday to mark the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

As he stepped off Air Force One in Washington on Sunday night, savoring the last moments of family time, Obama held the hand of his eldest daughter Malia, who will soon start her final year of high school in Washington before going to university.

The final 16 months of Obama's presidency will likely be overshadowed by the 2016 presidential campaign and while Congress does not appear willing to tackle difficult issues, Obama has a to-do list.

At Senator Harry Reid's National Clean Energy Summit in Las Vegas, Obama will promote steps that the White House announced on Monday to try to shift U.S. energy away from carbon-producing sources such as coal and toward renewables such as solar.

The steps, taken as executive actions, include increased loan guarantees for renewable energy developers and help for homeowners with solar power installations.

Taking his climate change message further afield, Obama will leave on Aug. 31 for a four-day trip to Alaska to focus on the effects of a warming climate on the Arctic.

Back in Washington, Congress will not return from its long summer vacation for two more weeks. When it does, lawmakers will have until Sept. 17 to act on a U.S.-led international deal backed by Obama to limit Iran’s nuclear capabilities in exchange for easing economic sanctions on that country.

Obama has steadily built support for the agreement in the Senate. On Sunday, it won the endorsement of Reid, the Democrats' leader in the Senate. On Monday, Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow also came out in favor of it.

In coming weeks, the White House was also expected to send to Congress a plan for transitioning detainees out of the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

(Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh and Bill Rigby)