- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 28, 2009

UPDATED:

Former Vice President Al Gore told lawmakers Wednesday morning that the earth is in “grave danger” and that the nation must break its dependence on oil.

Mr. Gore said Congress must pass a cap and trade bill and increase tax breaks for renewable energy sources before going before the U.N. climate change conference this December to negotiate new carbon-reduction benchmarks.

“Climate change will be increasingly central to our foreign policy and national security, and it will be a focal point of this committee’s efforts as well,” said Sen. John Kerry, the committee chairman and the Democratic party’s 2004 pick for president.

Since losing the 2000 presidential race, Mr. Gore has campaigned extensively for solutions to global warming. After Democrats retook control of the White House in November, Mr. Gore declined to return to public life choosing instead to continue his private work.

In prepared remarks before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Mr. Gore urged quick passage of President Obama’s stimulus package

Sen. Richard Lugar, the committee’s ranking Republican, said that while much needs to be done to deal with global warming, environmental activists must address the problems that are already here.

“Too many governments and climate change activists reject scientific advancements in the area of biotechnology that are necessary to address dire projections of declining food production due to climate change,” Mr. Lugar said.

As he has often done, Mr. Gore turned to a slideshow to make his point that global warming is increasingly damaging the earth. Before testifying, Mr. Gore asked supporters in an e-mail and online video to lobby their congressmen and senators for passage of strict environmental legislation.

“You and I know that continuing with the status quo will not revitalize the U.S. economy. Please make sure your elected officials know, too,” he wrote in the e-mail sent Wednesday morning.


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