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A Big Day for Al Gore and the Climate Change Fight

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Today's announcement by the Nobel committee is a well-deserved benchmark in Al Gore's remarkable record of public service. Congratulations to Al and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and a heartfelt thank you for your work.

In fact, I would argue Gore's work on bringing attention to the global warming crisis is the most critical of his distinguished career. He has been on the fore front, and has dragged our attention to the crisis when we still have a little time to change course. His Nobel Prize is fitting.

Today's Peace Prize announcement is noteworthy not only because it recognizes Al Gore's extraordinary achievement. It is noteworthy because it signals a new world recognition that the fight for global climate change and the work to revolutionize our energy production as essential to peaceful co-existence.

We must confront the global warming threat head on and we must act now. The continued battle between and within nations for scarce resources is fueling tragic unrest. Our dependence on foreign oil threatens our national security. Global warming threatens our environment, and its catastrophic effects threaten the basic stability of the world and its people. With Al Gore's win, the Nobel Committee has recognized that the fight against global warming truly is about peace.

We need bold change. We need a new energy revolution, and a renewed commitment to diplomacy as an integral part of fighting the global climate crisis. I have seen first hand in my negotiations in Darfur the consequences when we don't attend these issues before they boil over into tragedy. I have also seen first hand that remarkable progress is possible when we set our minds to it. I know what we can do to revolutionize our energy system, because I've done it in New Mexico.

In New Mexico we follow the Kyoto Protocols, even if Bush won't. We have created incentives for alternative energy technologies to spur innovation. And we've created a regional transmission authority to enable more effective integration of new energy production into our energy grid.

I've made New Mexico the Clean Energy State. And as President, I would make this the Clean Energy Nation. The Sierra Club has called my plan for a new energy revolution the most aggressive of any candidates' plans. Some believe that my proposals go too far - in my plan, we would cut oil demand by 50% and cut greenhouse gas emissions by 90% by 2050. But I believe we must act boldly and act now. The world is looking to us for bold leadership on climate change, and our next President must be prepared for the challenge.

Al Gore's work on global warming have been a turning point in this battle, and his award today is a fitting recognition. But solving this problem will take more than the heroic efforts of one man. It will require sacrifice from every American. It will require the resolve of the citizens of the world. And it will require bold Presidential leadership.

You can read more about my plan to create a New Energy Revolution at http://www.richardsonforpresident.com/issues/energy.