Al Gore and John Warner Testify

Posted on by Karina

Today, the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and the Environment held their fourth day of hearings on the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (ACES) featuring testimony from former Vice President Al Gore and former Senator John Warner.

Read prepared testimony of Al Gore>>

Read prepared testimony of John Warner>>

The Honorable Al Gore’s opening remarks:

“Our country is at risk on three fronts. The economic crisis is clear. Our national security remains at risk so long as we remain dangerously dependent on flows of foreign oil… and we are, along with the rest of humanity, facing the dire and growing threat of the climate crisis. It is at the very heart of those threats that this Committee and this Congress must direct its focus. I am here today to lend my support to what I believe to be one of the most important pieces of legislation ever introduced in the Congress. I believe this legislation has the moral significance equivalent to that of the civil rights legislation of the 1960′s and the Marshall Plan of the late 1940′s. By repowering America with a transition to a clean energy economy, and ending our dangerous over-reliance on carbon-based fuels–which is, after all, the common thread running through all three of these crises–this bill will simultaneously address the climate crisis, the economic crisis, and the national security threats that stem from our dependence on foreign oil. We cannot afford to wait any longer for this transition.”

The Honorable John Warner’s opening remarks:

“I hope that the Congress recognizes that they’ve got to build their legislation on a foundation with three legs on it – the energy leg, the global climate change leg, and national security leg. And it’s that national security that I want to dwell on here for a few minutes, because I think that’s the most significant contribution I can make…one extraordinary soldier, General Gordon Sullivan, succinctly framed the situation as follows: ‘The Cold War was a specter, but climate change is inevitable. If we keep on with business as usual, we will reach a point when some of the worst effects are inevitable. Back then, the challenge was to stop a particular action. Now the challenge is to inspire a particular action. We have to act if we are to avoid the worst of the effects.”

Chairman Markey asks Gore, given the current economic recession, how the pending legislation will impact American workers:

“We have been on a roller coaster with the price (of oil) going up giving body blows to our economy. And just as we summon the political will to do something about it, the price collapses again and that political will dissipates. As President Obama put it, we’ve gone from shock to trance. But this roller coaster is headed toward a crash, and we’re in the front car. So when you talk about energy prices, remember last summer, and what happened then. And remember what’s going to happen as the global economy recovers, and the price skyrockets again.”

Gore responds to a question from Rep. Barton (R-TX) on the scientific facts showing the role of greenhouse gases in global warming, citing a New York Times article published today detailing how over a decade ago, industries tied to fossil fuels ignored reports by their “own scientific and technical experts [who] were advising that the science backing the role of greenhouse gases in global warming could not be refuted”:

“The largest corporate carbon polluters in America, 14 years ago, asked their own people to conduct a review of all this science, and their own people told them what the international scientific community is saying is correct, there is no legitimate basis for denying it. Then these large polluters committed a massive fraud far larger than Bernie Madoff’s fraud. They are the Bernie Madoffs of global warming. They ordered the censoring and removal of the scientific review that they themselves conducted. And like Bernie Madoff, they lied to the people who trusted them in order to make money.”

Read further testimony and watch the archived hearing web cast>>

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