After touring the National Hurricane Center in Miami on Thursday, President Obama used his new Twitter account to answer questions about climate change, while fielding queries on a few other topics like basketball.
Mr. Obama invited Twitter users to ask questions with the hashtag #askPOTUS. He dedicated the most space to answering this skeptic:
Replying in three tweets, Mr. Obama noted that the government has shut off drilling in the most sensitive areas of the Arctic, including Bristol Bay. However, he said, "we can't prevent oil exploration completely." Consequently, he said the administration is "setting the highest possible standards" for oil exploration and has already rejected Shell's original proposal.
He answered a question about the pending Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) as it relates to climate change. He also responded to criticism about the lack of transparency surrounding the controversial trade deal, insisting its terms will not be secret.
Mr. Obama also answered two questions about basketball, calling LeBron James "the heart of the Cavs," and reacting to the firing of the Chicago Bulls' head coach Tom Thibodeau.
Mr. Obama's visit to the National Hurricane Center comes just days before the start of hurricane season. He received his annual hurricane outlook and preparedness briefing at the center and met with leading experts on hurricane forecasting.
The president stressed the importance of preparation for natural disasters and noted that climate change is making extreme weather events more common. Mr. Obama also talked about the flooding in Texas.
"I'm confident these communities will ultimately get back on their feet," he said. "It does remind us that it is never too early for disaster preparation."