'Climate change is a fact,' Obama declares

President Obama said the debate over climate change is settled during his State of the Union speech on Tuesday evening.

"The shift to a cleaner energy economy won’t happen overnight, and it will require tough choices along the way," Obama said.

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"But the debate is settled. Climate change is a fact."

"And when our children’s children look us in the eye and ask if we did all we could to leave them a safer, more stable world, with new sources of energy, I want us to be able to say yes, we did," Obama added emphatically.

The comments were met with a standing ovation from the majority of Democrats. But Democratic Senator Joe Manchin (W.Va.), who represents a coal-producing state, didn't join in, and Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-Minn.) was spotted shaking her head.

The president has made tackling climate change a priority of his second term. The centerpiece of the effort is new regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency that will limit carbon emissions from new and existing power plnats.