By Ben Geman - 03/24/10 03:02 PM EDT
Browner said the White House is “very very encouraged” by Senate negotiations led by Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), and is providing “technical advice” on their planned bill.
The trio is crafting a compromise measure that abandons the “economy-wide” cap-and-trade bill the House approved last year. Instead they are pursuing a more sector-by-sector approach that includes cap-and-trade for utilities, but may address greenhouse gas emissions from gasoline through a carbon tax or fee.
But Browner ducked a question about whether the White House backs a carbon tax on motor fuels, noting “we have not been asked about that specifically in terms of technical advice.”
“We are not going to take a position on any component part, what we need to see is the whole package,” she added.