Al Gore doesn't want a White House job, but he does have advice for Barack Obama: Use the bailout plan to transform the Big Three automakers. As vice-president, Gore rolled out a billion-dollar program to pay for fuel-efficient Detroit vehicles—"but as soon as they felt they were off the hook, they pulled the plug and walked away," Gore tells Newsweek. Now Obama can transform Michigan into a hybrid electric car hub, he says.
Gore trumpets his old plan to raise gas taxes, offset by lower payroll taxes, to wean America from its oil addiction. But he admits that Obama's cap-and-trade alternative would also be "effective." Once America takes the lead, Gore says, China and India will agree to curb carbon emissions. They may be building a coal plant per week, "but, as the old saying goes, instead of cursing the darkness, light a candle."