VP Gore Endorses Senator Sanders' Global Warming Bill

WASHINGTON - Former Vice President Al Gore told a Senate panel today that he supports legislation by Senators Bernie Sanders and Barbara Boxer to curb global warming.

"I support the Sanders-Boxer bill. I think that's an excellent piece of legislation," Gore said at the Environment and Public Works Committee hearing at which he warned of "a crisis that threatens the survival of our civilization and the habitability of the Earth."

WASHINGTON - Former Vice President Al Gore told a Senate panel today that he supports legislation by Senators Bernie Sanders and Barbara Boxer to curb global warming. "I support the Sanders-Boxer bill. I think that's an excellent piece of legislation," Gore said at the Environment and Public Works Committee hearing at which he warned of "a crisis that threatens the survival of our civilization and the habitability of the Earth." Sanders (I-Vt.) and Boxer (D-Calif.), the committee chairwoman, are the chief sponsors of the Global Warming Pollution Reduction Act. The legislation calls for a reduction of U.S. global warming emissions to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is a cosponsor. Gore also told Sanders that developing alternative energy sources "would greatly strengthen the economy...and create jobs" in the United States. In prepared remarks, Sanders said: "Mr. Vice President, thank you very much for being with us today and thank you for all of your efforts in alerting our nation and the world about the need for dramatic action to reverse the horrendous effects of global warming. It seems to me that throughout our history there have been critical moments in which America has stood up - and led the world in very positive directions. "In 1941, after the attack on Pearl Harbor, this country in a very, very short period transformed itself into the arsenal of democracy and created the kind of military and industrial force that was needed to defeat Nazism and Japanese militarism. It was a very remarkable achievement. We had a goal, our country focused on it - and we succeeded. "In the 1960s President Kennedy, in response to the achievements of Soviet space technology, urged our nation to put a man on the moon and, a short time later, we accomplished that goal and became the undisputed leader in space travel. "Today, with regard to global warming, it seems to me that we are once again at a critical cross-road. Will the United States, the wealthiest and most powerful nation on earth, lead the world in a new direction in which we break our dependence on fossil fuels and move toward energy efficiency and sustainable energy? Or, will we continue to do business the same old way, releasing huge amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere as the earth heats up, as glaciers and permafrost melt, as oceans rise threatening costal regions, as clean drinking water and farm land disappear, as extreme weather conditions become more common and we see more frequent and dangerous fires, floods and draughts? That, it seems to me, is the question that we have to resolve. "In response to the crisis of global warming the Chair of this committee Barbara Boxer and I have introduced the most sweeping global warming legislation in Congress - a bill that would lower greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2020 to 1990 levels, and reduce those emissions by 80 percent of 1990 levels by the year 2050. Our bill calls for a giant step forward in making our country more energy efficient and moving us to sustainable energies." In addition to attending the Senate hearing, Sanders yesterday spoke to a rally on Capitol Hill. "This is the challenge of our lifetimes," Sanders told the crowd at Climate Action Day. "Either we see the planet go down the tubes, or we reverse it."