Climate change activists will listen closely to the State of the Union address Wednesday for signs the White House is willing to spend political capital on a sputtering effort to limit greenhouse gas emissions, reports The

But as Democrats nervously eye the midterm elections and Obama plans a heavy focus on the economy, some predict a more general endorsement of creating jobs in “clean energy” sectors that omits an explicit plea for emissions limits.

Dirk Forrister, who chaired the White House climate change task force under President Bill Clinton, said the speech will provide an important signal about White House intentions this year.

Emissions caps are highly unpopular among Republicans and some centrist Democrats. Lawmakers including Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) — who faces a tough reelection battle this year — and Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) want the Senate to take up a package of energy efficiency and domestic production incentives while shelving mandatory emissions curbs.

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