WASHINGTON — The Obama administration Wednesday called a Democratic House proposal to tackle climate change a "jobs bill" and an investment in clean energy technology, rejecting Republican criticism that the increase in energy costs will undermine the economy.
Top environmental advisers to President Barack Obama broadly endorsed the draft bill that would cap greenhouse gases and reduce the nation's reliance on fossil fuels. However, administration officials cautioned that the White House will work with House Democrats to fine-tune the legislation in coming weeks.
"Three important players in this issue that represent the president believe the principles that are laid out in this bill are very strong principles and principles that the president and his team can work with as the bill is worked through Congress," Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said, joined by EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and Energy Secretary Steven Chu at the House hearing.
GOP lawmakers called the bill a massive energy tax because it will put a price on carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels.