During his prime time press conference Tuesday evening, President Obama was put on the spot about Congress’ apparent unwillingness to go along with some of his budget proposals. The questioner listed a number of areas where Democrats on Capitol Hill may part ways, including the White House’s proposed cap-and-trade program to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

If Obama is worried, he didn’t let on. Here’s the part of his response dealing with cap-and-trade and, more broadly, a comprehensive energy bill:

When it comes to cap-and-trade, the broader principle is that we’ve got to move to a new energy era. And that means moving away from polluting energy sources towards cleaner energy sources.

That is a potential engine for economic growth.

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I think cap-and-trade is the best way, from my perspective, to achieve some of those gains, because what it does is it starts pricing the pollution that’s being sent into the atmosphere.

The way it’s structured, it has to take into account regional differences. It has to protect consumers from huge spikes in electricity prices. So there are a — a lot of technical issues that are going to have to be sorted through.

Our point in the budget is, let’s get started now. We can’t wait. And my expectation is that the energy committees, or other relevant committees in both the House and the Senate, are going to be moving forward a strong energy package. It’ll be authorized. We’ll get it done. And I will sign it. Okay?

Watch a video excerpt:

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