Gore Works the Phones for Climate Bill

House votes tomorrow on measure to cut greenhouse gases
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 25, 2009 12:35 PM CDT
Al Gore speaks at the World Business Summit on Climate Change in Copenhagen, Denmark, in May.   (AP Photo/POLFOTO, Tariq Mikkel Khan)
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(Newser) – Al Gore is engaging in phone diplomacy today as the House prepares to vote on a landmark climate bill tomorrow. Original plans called for the former VP to appear in person, but Nancy Pelosi says lawmakers are close enough to an agreement that it's not necessary. Others offer a less optimistic take, telling the Hill the vote is so close, Pelosi needs Gore to wheedle recalcitrant Democrats one by one rather than wasting time traveling.

The White House also is joining in the last-minute push to stave off defectors on the bill, which would require the US to cut greenhouse gas emissions 17% by 2020 and 80% by the next century. Republicans complain it amounts to an energy tax because it will raise prices, at least in the short term, the AP reports.