November 7, 2008

Al Gore Urges Obama To Move Swiftly On Energy

Former Vice President Al Gore's Alliance for Climate Protection unveiled a new media campaign on Thursday that advocates immediate investment in three energy areas:  renewable resources, energy efficiency and the creation of a unified U.S. power grid.

The group claims that focusing on these areas would help achieve Mr. Gore's previously announced challenge of producing 100 percent clean energy in the U.S. within the next ten years.

The group is rolling out the new ads to coincide with President Elect Obama's election victory on Tuesday. The "Now what?" ads will run on television, in newspapers and on the Internet.

"Our nation just made history," says one video ad.

"We have an historic opportunity to boost our economy and repower America with 100 percent clean electricity within 10 years. It will create new American jobs, end our addiction to dirty coal and foreign oil and solve the climate crisis."

Mr. Gore has consistently said he has no desire to play an official government role in fighting climate change.  Nevertheless, environmental activists continue to speak of the possibility that the Nobel Peace laureate and star of the Oscar-winning documentary "An Inconvenient Truth" might play the role of  "climate czar" in President-elect Obama's White House.

The Alliance for Climate Protection's plan calls for immediate investment in energy efficiency, renewable power generation, which includes wind, solar and geothermal technology, and the creation of a unified national smart grid.

"Modernize transmission infrastructure so that clean electricity generated anywhere in America can power homes and businesses across the nation," said the group in a statement. 

The alliance says it prefers "national electricity 'interstates' that move power quickly and cheaply to where it needs to be (and) local smart grids that buy and sell power from households and support clean plug-in cars."

The views of Mr. Gore and his organization are in keeping with most U.S. environmental groups, who see the incoming Obama administration as an opportunity to act swiftly to reduce global warming.

R.K. Pachauri, who leads the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with Mr. Gore, expressed similar sentiment in a statement issued after the vote.

"The U.S. now has a unique opportunity to assume leadership in meeting the threat of climate change, and it would help greatly if the new president were to announce a coherent and forward looking policy soon after he takes office," Pachauri said in a statement posted on his blog at

Additional information on the Alliance for Climate Protection campaign is available online at