Obama to meet Gore to discuss energy, climate

CHICAGO Mon Dec 8, 2008 5:43pm EST

Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore speaks during a news conference with New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo announcing an agreement to fight global warming that requires Dynegy Inc., a national energy company, to disclose timely and relevant information to investors about climate change risks in New York October 23, 2008. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore speaks during a news conference with New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo announcing an agreement to fight global warming that requires Dynegy Inc., a national energy company, to disclose timely and relevant information to investors about climate change risks in New York October 23, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Shannon Stapleton

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CHICAGO (Reuters) - President-elect Barack Obama will meet Nobel laureate and former Vice President Al Gore in Chicago on Tuesday to discuss energy and climate change, Obama's office said.

Gore, who ran for president in 2000 against George W. Bush and lost, will meet Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden to discuss how energy and climate policies "can stimulate the economy and create jobs," a statement from Obama's office said.

Obama is in the process of narrowing down picks for top energy and environment cabinet posts and has signaled that both will be major policy priorities for his administration.

Gore has indicated he is not interested in a position of climate "czar" or any cabinet post.

But Gore, who starred in the Oscar-winning documentary "An Inconvenient Truth" and won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for his work to combat rising temperatures and boost awareness of climate change, will likely have a lot of suggestions for Obama about how energy policies can help stimulate the economy.

Just two days after Obama won the November 4 election, Gore's Alliance for Climate Protection rolled out a media campaign to push for immediate investments in energy efficiency, renewable power generation like wind and solar technology and the creation of a unified national power grid.

Gore and his group are in line with most U.S. environmental groups, which believe the Obama administration has a chance to stem global warming after what many see as stalling by President Bush's administration.

Obama, who takes over from Bush on January 20, has made it clear his White House would break from his predecessor on climate change and other environmental policy issues.

During this year's presidential election campaign, Obama pledged if he were elected he would make Gore a major player on the topic of climate change.

Obama has promised to increase U.S. use of renewable energy sources dramatically and reduce dependence on foreign suppliers of oil.

He has just begun to lay out his plans for a massive recovery plan to help stimulate the U.S. economy and create about 2.5 million jobs.

The first policy he mentioned in a radio address spelling out his top priorities was that his administration would launch a massive effort to make public buildings energy efficient.

"Our government now pays the highest energy bill in the world. We need to change that," he said on Saturday.

"We need to upgrade our federal buildings by replacing old heating systems and installing efficient light bulbs. That won't just save you, the American taxpayer, billions of dollars each year. It will put people back to work."

(Editing by David Alexander and Cynthia Osterman)

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