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Former Vice President Al Gore has challenged the United States to shift its entire electricity sector to wind, solar and geothermal power within 10 years.

"This goal is achievable, affordable and transformative," Gore said during a speech at the Daughters of the American Revolution Constitution Hall in Washington. "It represents a challenge to all Americans in every walk of life: to our political leaders, entrepreneurs, innovators, engineers and to every citizen."

Gore is seeking to pressure the presidential candidates and Congress, which is in the middle of a fierce debate on energy policy. He said he has spoken to both Republican Sen. John McCain and Democratic Sen. Barack Obama about his ideas. Obama issued a statement yesterday saying he strongly agrees with Gore's goal.

Gore's challenge would require a massive restructuring of America’s electricity sector. The country currently relies on coal for about half of its electric power, followed by natural gas, nuclear and hydropower. Renewable power currently accounts for only 2.5% percent.

Gore's announcement follows a new energy plan detailed by Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens, who is supporting a plan to use wind power for about 20% of the nation's electricity needs.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle

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