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President Obama aware of unfolding Red River flooding disaster-

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- President Barack Obama is well aware of the flooding disaster that has struck the Red River Valley this week and brought it up on his own during this afternoon's meeting with Forum Communications' North Dakota Capitol correspondent Janell Cole and five other reporters from around the country.

The president mentioned the flooding during his answer to Cole's question about North Dakotans' concerns about how a "cap-and-trade" greenhouse gas reduction policy could hurt the state's coal and power-generating industries.

He said, "I actually think the science around climate change is real. It is potentially devastating. The flooding in North Dakota that could result if you start seeing severely changing weather. Which is going on. I can't ascribe that in particular to climate change. If you look at the flooding that's going on right now in North Dakota, and you say to yourself, 'If you see an increase of 2 degrees, what does that do, in terms of the situation there,' that indicates the degree to which we have to take this seriously."

The meeting, about a half hour long, was in the Roosevelt Room of the White House's West Wing.