No place for Gore in Obama White House?
mchawk | July 21, 2008 at 04:18 amby
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In his first appearance on the show since his Presidential campaign in 2000, he said that he did not plan to be part of an Obama administration - either as VP or in the Cabinet.
Gore, who endorsed Obama at the end of the Democratic presidential primaries, said his role now is to “try to bring about a sea change in public opinion,” particularly on climate and energy issues.
“Policy makers who know the right thing to do run up against a wall set up all around them by the lobbyists and the special interests and the defenders of the status quo,” said Gore. “And the only way we are going to break out of this trap is by mobilizing public opinion with a clear vision of exactly what is at stake for our county... That’s my highest and best use in pubic life."
“I’m trying to serve in other ways,” he went on, touting his new plan to power the United States with alternative fuels within the next decade. “I could be wrong about the decision that going back into government is not the right thing to do. ... But this feels like the right thing for me to be doing.”
On his new energy challenge to the nation, Gore said it was “time for policymakers and candidates to say to the American people what they already know: Gimmicks are not going to work.”
“Incremental baby steps are no longer responsible proposals,” Gore said, outlining some possible solutions to the energy crisis. “We have to have a bipartisan commitment to change that game, to break out of this trap and shift over to renewable sources of energy.”
He said a lack of political will is the only obstacle in the way of America trading its reliance on fossil fuels for climate-friendly renewable sources.
“This climate crisis is threatening our country, threatening all of human civilization,” Gore said.
“I know that sounds shrill and people don't like to hear phrases like that. But it is the reality. We have to awaken to it, and we have to mobilize to confront it.”
Gore suggested that some of the massive cost of such an initiative could be addressed through a shift in the tax system, including pricing the environmental damage caused by fossil fuels into their cost. “We should tax what we burn and not what we earn,” Gore said.
He also urged the coal and oil industries to make good on their promise to develop “clean coal” technology that would sequester carbon dioxide emissions underground.
But overall the $1.5 trillion to $3 trillion estimated price tag would come from private investment as well as public funds and “is comparable to what we would spend over that same period of time if we continued to rely on coal and oil, which is rising so rapidly in price.”
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