President-elect Barack Obama on Tuesday praised former Vice President Al Gore’s ideas on the environment as one part of helping the nation’s struggling economy recovery.
Obama, Gore and Vice President-elect Joe Biden met privately at Obama’s transition headquarters for almost two hours. Obama said they discussed so-called green jobs as a way to boost employment across the country, improve national security by reducing reliance on foreign oil, and reduce energy costs.
Obama said global warming is “not only a problem, but it’s also an opportunity.”
“We all believe what the scientists have been telling us for years now, that this is a matter of urgency and national security, and it has to be dealt with in a serious way,” Obama told reporters and photographers at the end of the closed-door meeting.
“We have the opportunity now to make jobs all across this country, in all 50 states, to repower America. … We are not going to miss this opportunity,” Obama said.
The president-elect’s comments closely resembled Gore’s plan for an environmental economy, outlined in a speech in July, and he echoed the title of Gore’s effort, Repower America.
The president-elect’s two guests did not speak to reporters.
Gore lends Obama instant credibility among environmental activists. Aides also said Obama didn’t plan to recruit Gore to become a formal part of his administration.
Obama has pledged to use part of his proposed economic stimulus package to develop alternative energies and green technologies. Obama’s aides said the private meeting would help shape the president-elect’s economic policies.