Salazar: ‘Cap And Trade’ Not In The Lexicon Anymore

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March 31, 2010 5:56 a.m.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, on CNBC this morning, suggested the administration will no longer use the term “cap and trade” to describe climate change legislation.

“I think the term ‘cap and trade’ is not in the lexicon anymore,” Salazar said, adding that supporters — including senators working on legislation — will focus more on ideas such as slowing pollution, creating jobs and becoming energy independent. “It’s in that context” the Senate will move forward, he said.Climate change legislation has stalled in the Senate and faces an uphill political climb. Conservatives and tea partiers have been railing against “cap and trade,” also known by opponents as “cap and tax,” for months.

Salazar was making the TV rounds this morning to announce the White House’s decision to open parts of the East Coast up to offshore oil drilling.

“Our announcement today is about the administrative authorities we have in the executive branch,” he said, adding that “there is great conversation going on” in the Senate.

Watch:

(H/T The Hill)

Late update: Salazar spokeswoman Kendra Barkoff tells TPMDC that there are no plans to drop cap and trade provisions from the administration’s climate change agenda.

“Cap and trade is part of a larger energy plan,” Barkoff said. “It’s part of a whole comprehensive legislation.”

“He was talking about the actual phrase, not the concept,” she added.

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