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Energy crisis threatens U.S. survival, Gore says

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  • Renewable energy can bring equivalent of $1 a gallon gas, Gore says
  • Al Gore calls for electrical grid to be off carbon-based energy in 10 years
  • Gore has pushed for policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • Former vice president won Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 for advocacy
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The United States should be making all of its electricity with renewable and carbon-free energy in 10 years, former Vice President Al Gore said Thursday.

America's security, environmental and economic crises are all related, Al Gore said Thursday.

America's security, environmental and economic crises are all related, Al Gore said Thursday.

"The survival of the United States of America as we know it is at risk," Gore said.

In a speech at Washington's Constitution Hall, Gore touched on an array of the nation's current woes, saying the economic, environmental and national security crises are all related.

"I don't remember a time in our country when so many things seemed to be going so wrong simultaneously," Gore said.

To begin to fix all the problems, Gore said, "the answer is to end our reliance on carbon-based fuels." Video Watch more on Gore's answer to energy crisis »

Gore called on the country to produce all of its electricity from renewable and carbon-free sources in 10 years, a goal he compared to President Kennedy's challenge for the country to put a man on the moon in the 1960s.

Gore chastised those who have proposed opening new areas for oil drilling as a solution to U.S. energy problems.

"It is only a truly dysfunctional system that would buy into the perverse logic that the short-term answer to high gasoline prices is drilling for more oil 10 years from now," Gore said. Video Watch panelists discuss Gore's speech »

New demand from places like China means oil supplies won't be able to meet increasing demand, Gore said.

"The way to bring gas prices down is to end our dependence on oil and use the renewable sources that can give us the equivalent of $1 a gallon gasoline," the former vice president and Nobel laureate said. Read Gore's full speech

After losing the presidential election to then-Texas Gov. George Bush in 2000, Gore returned to the nation's political main stage with "An Inconvenient Truth," a documentary film detailing global warming's effects on the planet, in 2006. The widely acclaimed film went on to win an Academy Award for best documentary in 2007.

In the movie, Gore explains how the levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases have grown exponentially in the last few decades and how that has led to changes in the Earth's climate, such as shrinking polar ice caps and an increase in the number of hurricanes and other violent storms.

To counteract the effects of global warming, Gore has pushed for policies that would reduce the emission of carbon dioxide, such as greater energy conservation and the development of alternative energy sources like wind and solar energy. Gore has also advocated for governments to tax the emission of carbon dioxide.

Gore and the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 for increasing awareness of the climate change issue and for advocating for policies that could potentially offset the effects of global warming.


Gore's return to the political arena has drawn increased scrutiny, particularly of his energy use. In 2007, the Tennessee Center for Policy Research chastised Gore for "extravagant energy use" at his Nashville, Tennessee, mansion.

Gore subsequently has installed solar panels, a geothermal heating and cooling system, compact fluorescent light bulbs and other energy-saving technologies in his home.

All About Al GoreGlobal Climate ChangeEnergy Policy

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