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article imageGore urges lawmakers to act on global warming despite questions

By Michael Krebs     Apr 25, 2009 in Environment
Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore urged legislators to take action on global warming, despite divisions in both parties.
Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore is speaking out again on climate control. He appeared on Friday before congress to endorse a bill that has been introduced by House Democrat Henry Waxman to limit carbon dioxide and other emissions that contribute to warming.
Gore told legislators at a congressional hearing to get over their differences and deal with the looming threat that he believes man-made carbon-based emissions represent.
"It is a challenge that this Congress must rise to," Gore said in an AP report. "I wish I could find the words to get past the partisan divide that both sides have contributed to. ... It shouldn't be partisan. It should be something we do together in our national interest."
The planet has been in a state of warming that began roughly 18,000 years ago, long before the advent of the combustible engine. Gore's more cerebral critics have asked him to address this scientific reality to no avail.
"This bill is an energy tax," Gingrich said, according to AP. "An energy tax punishes senior citizens, it punishes rural Americans, if you use electricity it punishes you. This bill will increase your cost of living and may kill your job."
Democrats are quick to paint Republican objections as scare tactics, but there appear to be considerable economic concerns with the Waxman bill. The carbon cap bill calls for mandatory reductions in carbon emissions and requires utilities to generate electricity from alternative sources, effectively changing the composition of energy consumption and production nationally.
"I think the cost of energy will come down when we make this transition to renewable energy," Gore said, according to AP. He did not provide dollar figures.
And the criticism of the Waxman "cap and trade" bill was not limited to republicans.
"How do we protect our people?" asked Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., in the AP report. Dingell voiced concern that the bill will not protect U.S. jobs and has no provisions for emerging energy-intensive nations like China to participate in similar measures.
Gore suggested that China would follow the U.S. lead, but this is not guaranteed.
The emotional testimony provided by the former vice president fell short on facts and figures. However, Waxman appeared confident that the bill will pass - as it has the endorsement of the Obama administration and the Democrat-controlled congress.
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