According to Connecticut Independent Senator Joe Lieberman, President Obama made a "very passionate and...effective argument" to a group of a bipartisan senators at the White House today that energy legislation should include a 'price on carbon.' That's what supporters call the fees that businesses would have to pay for any carbon emissions.
Republican critics use different phrases. They call it a "national energy tax" or "cap and tax," and contend that businesses will pass along any additional costs to consumers.
After the meeting with President Obama, Alaska Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski insisted that kind of tax "will not sell in the country at this time." Tennessee Republican Senator Lamar Alexander indicated the GOP is willing to work with the President, saying, "As long as we take a national energy tax off the table, there's no reason we can't have clean energy legislation."
But Democrats argue that a price on carbon is the way to "[force] polluters to pay," says Lieberman. And Massachusetts Democratic Senator John Kerry says President Obama was "very clear" that he wants it in the legislation.