Some environmental groups say the Obama administration's approval of the final permit to drill for oil in the Arctic Ocean clashes with the message the president will deliver in Alaska later this month.
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President Barack Obama plans to emphasize the dangers of climate change.
The groups praise Obama for his overall body of work, but they consider the approval of exploratory drilling in the Arctic a stain on his environmental legacy.
The burning of fossil fuels causes more greenhouse gases to build up in the atmosphere.
The Natural Resources Defense Council says the president has to make clear to the rest of the world that the U.S. is "all in on a clean energy future."
But Obama has said that moving away from fossil fuels is a transition process.