Obama Makes Another Push for Clean Energy Bill

Posted August 11, 2010 at 4:43pm

President Barack Obama on Wednesday pressed Congress again to pass cap-and-trade energy legislation, a lingering Democratic priority that Republicans worry could resurface during the lame-duck session.

During an unrelated signing ceremony for a manufacturing jobs bill, Obama praised Congress for passing that measure “on an overwhelmingly bipartisan basis” and urged lawmakers to use that same spirit to advance energy reform.

“If an American company wants to innovate, grow and create jobs right here in the United States, we should give them the support they need to do it,” he said. “That’s why I’m urging Congress, once again, to invest $5 billion in these clean energy manufacturing tax credits.”

The president lamented that despite having bipartisan support, energy legislation has “been delayed for months.”

“So my simple message is, don’t let politics get in the way of doing what’s right for our economy and for our future,” Obama said.

Democratic leaders have maintained that they will not use the lame-duck session to push through major legislation. But Republicans point to the fact that Democrats have indicated that several large bills are not necessarily dead for the year and say it is a sign that an energy bill may be on tap for the postelection period. The issue is stalled in the Senate; Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) had hoped to push a scaled-back energy proposal last week but scrapped those plans, citing a lack of floor time.

Obama’s latest push on the issue comes days after White House energy adviser Carol Browner said that a clean energy proposal could “potentially” come up during the lame-duck session.

“We’re deeply disappointed we have not been able to get clean energy legislation. … We’ll continue to work in the Senate,” she said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”