First Draft: Al Gore heads for the Hill
Al Gore — who sometimes jokes that he “used to be the next president of the United States” — heads for Capitol Hill to testify about the fight against climate change. The former vice president and star of the Oscar-winning documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” is slated to go before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, where he’ll discuss the latest legislation to curb the greenhouse gases that spur global warming.
Gore shares the spotlight with former Senator John Warner, the Virginia Republican who pushed a bill to cut greenhouse gas emissions in 2008, his last year in Congress.
It’s been an environmentally-friendly week in Washington, with Earth Day on Wednesday prompting almost every U.S. agency to go green, starting with the Environmental Protection Agency. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson headed for the Hill to urge passage of the American Clean Energy and Security Act, the climate bill working its way through the House of Representatives. A similar bill failed last year, but that was then. Supporters hope that with a new administration which has been clear on its commitment to curb climate warming emissions, this kind of law has a better chance.
The green spree continues next week, when 17 of the countries that emit the most greenhouse gases — including the United States — gather at the State Department on Monday and Tuesday. But whatever happens in Foggy Bottom, there will still be plenty of attention focused on Congress. Todd Stern, the top U.S. climate diplomat, says domestic legislation is the key to successfully negotiating a global climate pact.
Photo credit: REUTERS/Larry Downing (Al Gore before his testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, January 28, 2009)