Obama favors carbon pricing, says Merkley

President Obama has stressed the importance of including a "cap and trade" system in forthcoming energy legislation, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) confirmed Tuesday after a bipartisan meeting at the White House.

Senators of both parties said following the meeting that they intend to compromise on an energy bill. Still, observers question whether a climate package that includes "cap and trade" -- a "national energy tax," to some Republicans -- could garner 60 votes in the Senate. 

A "cap and trade" system would require companies to buy permits for the greenhouse gases they release. 

The White House later released a statement saying that "the best way for us to transition to a clean energy economy is with a bill that ... [puts] a price on pollution."

"He [Obama] made a point of raising carbon pricing a number of times," Merkley told Greg Sargent. "I don't think he would have done so if that wasn't very important to him."

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