"I'm not dead yet!...I'm only resting." (monty python -- holy grail)

Perhaps some denizens of Beltway were premature in declaring "Ding dong! Cap and trade is dead" last week. Well -- according to the White House, at least.

President Obama today prodded Congress to resurrect the beast -- and White House press secretary Robert Gibbs wondered why something more "comprehensive" (a cap on emissions?) couldn't be tucked into the energy bill in conference. From today's press briefing:

Q: I wanted to ask you about the president’s statement that he wants to keep pushing for a broad climate bill, energy bill. Is that something that came up in the meeting? Was there any sort of new way forward? And why is he stressing this now? I mean, the bill was essentially dead for the year.

MR. GIBBS: Well, I wouldn’t say that the -- I don’t think the bill is essentially dead for the year. The House passed a very strong and very comprehensive energy bill last year. The Senate is going to take up a version that is more scaled down but still has some important aspects, particularly dealing with how we deal with oil spills in the future.

But I don’t think that closes the door -- once a bill passes, each House doesn’t close the door to having some sort of conference.

Q: Well, let me phrase it a different way then. What does he plan to do now to push for it, as he said he wanted to do, that he didn’t do up to now?

MR. GIBBS:  Well, first and foremost, I mean, they talked about making sure that before the Senate leaves we get -- we do get some energy bill through the Senate.  Again, there’s --

Q: You can’t really call that a broad energy bill; it’s pretty narrow.

MR. GIBBS:  I’m not suggesting that.  I don’t think anybody in the meeting did. I think what -- again, what I’m suggesting is what -- if you need to sneeze, go ahead. (Laughter.)

Hey now! Climate change is nothing to sneeze at. We would gently wonder, perhaps aloud, whether a cap on emissions was a significant enough new policy measure to deserve a full debate in Congress, rather than a sneaky add-on during closed-door conference deliberations. It's just one way to do things.

Now go away, or I shall taunt you a second time! (ap photo)