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President Obama on Tuesday ordered several federal agencies to get companies to participate in his administration's effort to protect the environment.

The White House memo directed the Defense, Interior and Agriculture departments, as well as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the EPA, to prevent any net loss of natural resources from federal actions, with the exception of activities relating to "military testing, training and readiness activities."

Obama told the agencies' directors: "We all have a moral obligation to the next generation to leave America's natural resources in better condition than when we inherited them," and he ordered them to find ways to bring in private businesses and nonprofits in those efforts.

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