Obama Pushes Cap-and-Trade as a Driver of Green Jobs
President Barack Obama on Thursday used a jobs summit at the White House to make a pitch for cap-and-trade energy legislation, suggesting a trove of green jobs exists but the environmental industry needs a higher, set “price— on carbon to help it succeed.“Coal is going to be cheaper for the foreseeable future until we have a price for carbon,— Obama said. “We’re not going to be able to maximize the benefits of clean energy investments until we get settled on cap-and-trade and the price of carbon.—The president, who spoke toward the end of the White House session that sought to amass job creation ideas from academics, business leaders, government officials and others, acknowledged that the cap-and-trade bill cannot now pass the Senate. “If you all have 60 votes in the Senate, let me know,— he said.Pointing to White House frustration with opposition from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business groups to the cap-and-trade bill, Obama urged “those of you who are members of the U.S. Chamber or the Business Roundtable— to take “some very strong stances— on the issue over the next several months.Nevertheless, Obama seemed particularly excited about creating environmentally friendly jobs to boost the economy. While acknowledging that many such jobs take a while to generate, he said moving to boost industries involved in weatherization and energy efficiency could provide rapid results.Obama also touched briefly on health care, repeating that it is “My strong hope is that we get health care done by the end of this year,— even though virtually no one on Capitol Hill thinks a bill will be finished by December.