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(Washington, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen today urged quick action to renew U.S. leadership in addressing global climate change during a U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing. Former Vice President Al Gore testified before the Committee as President Obama, Congress and environmental leaders prepare for the United Nations’ climate change discussions this December in Copenhagen, Denmark.


“In 2007, 164 New Hampshire towns called on Congress and the President to act on climate change,” said Senator Shaheen at the Committee hearing today. “President Obama has made it clear he’s ready to position the United States as a world leader on the issue of climate change. To achieve the credibility we need to lead other nations on this cause, it’s essential that we lead by example and act domestically to address global warming here at home, by enacting smart, aggressive renewable energy and energy efficiency policies.”


“For years our efforts to address the growing climate crisis have been undermined by the idea that we must choose between our planet and our way of life; between our moral duty and our economic well being,” said former Vice President Al Gore at the hearing today. “These are false choices. In fact, the solutions to the climate crisis are the very same solutions that will address our economic and national security crises as well. 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.”


While Shaheen served as Governor, New Hampshire became the first state in the country to enact legislation reducing the four pollutants that cause global warming. Governor Shaheen developed the state’s first comprehensive energy plan and established a State Building Energy Conservation Initiative that lowered the state’s energy costs by renovating existing facilities and reduced carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 37 million pounds a year. Energy efficiency programs for residential, commercial and industrial users initiated by the Shaheen administration have saved New Hampshire families and businesses almost $400 million and reduced greenhouse gas emissions by millions of tons since June 2002.