Al Gore sets April deadline for climate bill


Former Vice President Al Gore called on President Barack Obama to pass a climate bill by April 22 — the next Earth Day – in a Tuesday speech at the international climate talks in Copenhagen.

“As a citizen of the United States, and no more, I will ask those among my fellow citizens who share my sense of urgency to join in asking President Obama and the leadership of the United States Senate to set a deadline of April 22, 2010—the 40th anniversary of Earth Day—for final action on U.S. legislation,” Gore said.

Democratic supporters of the bill would like to take up the climate bill this spring but have noted that long list of issues will take priority, including finishing health care, passing a financial regulation bill and moving a jobs bill.

Coal, rural and manufacturing states remain skeptical about taking up the bill in the midst of a recession, fearing that it will raise electricity costs for consumers and businesses.

Gore also called on the international community to finalize whatever agreement comes out of the Copenhagen talks several months earlier than currently planned.

“I would ask those of you here who share my sense of urgency to join me in asking for an early date for the next meeting of ministers and heads of state,” he said. “We cannot wait until next November. I propose that we meet in July in Mexico City.”

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