Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said yesterday that the White House would look at "some different approaches" to limiting greenhouse gas emissions that could gain traction with Congress in the wake of lawmakers' failure to pass cap-and-trade climate legislation.
In an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Co., Clinton sought to assure the South Pacific nation that the demise of a cap-and-trade plan for curbing emissions would not spell the end of U.S. action on climate change.
"I'm sure the president will continue" using regulatory options to curb emissions, Clinton said. "But I'm going to be looking with my former colleagues from my time of eight years in the Congress to see if we can't come up some different approaches that will get political support. There are different ways of pricing carbon. There are different ways of limiting its impact."
During the final leg of a two-week swing through Asia, Clinton joined Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard to launch collaborations between their two nations on solar research, carbon capture and storage, and new Fulbright scholarships dedicated to the study of climate change. Gillard has signaled to her constituents that she plans to press ahead with emissions limits despite President Obama's shift away from a comprehensive approach to tackling global warming.
Clinton did not elaborate on the alternative carbon pricing strategies that could attract fresh support on Capitol Hill, saying only: "We're going to explore everything, because the Obama administration continues to believe that [climate change] is a serious problem."
In an earlier appearance alongside Gillard, Clinton said Obama's acknowledgement of the demise of the cap-and-trade bill was not intended to signal anything to overseas allies such as Australia.
"I don't think that President Obama's statement was meant to describe anything other than what is happening inside the United States," Clinton said. "Obviously, decisions in Australia are up to the government of Australia and the people of Australia. But what we are absolutely clear-eyed about is our commitment to addressing climate change and its effects."