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On Arctic voyage, Obama turns to the power of the presidential image to elevate climate change

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KOTZEBUE, Alaska — President Barack Obama brought no grand policy pronouncements, new legislative proposals or major tranches of federal aid with him to Alaska.

Instead, he sought to use the power of his own celebrity to command attention to the issue of climate change.

PHOTO: President Barack Obama meets with Kevin Baker, second from right, the 2011 Iditarod winner and two of his puppies, Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015, in Kotzebue, Alaska. Obama is on a historic three-day trip to Alaska aimed at showing solidarity with a state often overlooked by Washington, while using its glorious but changing landscape as an urgent call to action on climate change. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
President Barack Obama meets with Kevin Baker, second from right, the 2011 Iditarod winner and two of his puppies, Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015, in Kotzebue, Alaska. Obama is on a historic three-day trip to Alaska aimed at showing solidarity with a state often overlooked by Washington, while using its glorious but changing landscape as an urgent call to action on climate change. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Obama closed out his Alaska tour with a trip Wednesday to the tiny town of Kotzebue on Wednesday that made him the first sitting president to set foot in the Alaska Arctic.

The White House was hoping that fact would illustrate a commitment to Alaska's endangered landscape beyond that of his predecessors.

Yet Obama also walked a fine line in a state that's deeply dependent on energy revenues and wary of his efforts to keep its oil and gas in the ground.

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