Gore Tells Senate Committee We Need New Global Climate Treaty

And we’re live from Union Station in Washington, DC! I just came from Dirksen Senate Office Building, where I was one of about 75 people who didn’t get into today’s Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing featuring Al Gore. Fortunately, Catherine Bowes, NWF program director for global warming, and several intrepid interns got to Dirksen at the crack of dawn and were able to get into the hearing.

Gore told the committee that America must retake its leadership role on climate action:

“In order to repower our economy, restore American economic and moral leadership in the world and regain control of our destiny, we must take bold action now,” he said in testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

The Nobel laureate, who won an Oscar for his global-warming book turned documentary “An Inconvenient Truth,” said Washington had to lead the world heading into global climate talks in Copenhagen in December.

If Congress “acts right away” to pass Obama’s stimulus plan and “takes decisive action this year” to cap carbon emissions, the U.S. delegation to the Danish capital will enjoy “renewed authority to lead the world in shaping a fair and effective treaty,” said the former vice president.

“And this treaty must be negotiated this year. Not next year. This year,” he warned in the written remarks.

National Wildlife Federation President and CEO Larry Schweiger said today, “Other countries have begun to act – and they have waited long enough for the United States to step up and do our part. We have a moral obligation to lead on this crucial issue and an economic imperative to ensure that the world’s next generation of energy solutions carry a Made-in-America label.”

Finally, there was one benefit to getting shut out of the hearing room. I was able to join the scrum of photojournalists camped outside Sen. Kerry’s office waiting for Vice President Gore to emerge. Note that the hearing room is already full — all those people waiting outside were doing so on the off chance they might get in. Talk about a hot ticket (no pun intended)!