According to The Voice of America News, former Vice President Al Gore is challenging the United States to produce all of its electricity through wind power, solar power and other environmentally friendly sources within 10 years. Gore said the transition would not only help resolve America’s current energy and economic problems, but also would improve U.S. national security by reducing dependence on foreign oil.

Gore outlined his vision for the future of U.S. energy needs at the Daughters of the American Revolution Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. on July 17, 2008.

“So today I challenge our nation to commit to producing 100 percent of our electricity from renewable energy and truly clean, carbon-free sources within 10 years,” he said.

Called an alarmist by some critics, Gore has made global climate change his signature issue, and his efforts won him a Nobel Prize in 2007. He said weaning Americans off fossil fuels would require placing a carbon tax on burning oil and coal, which his plan would offset with a reduction in payroll taxes. But Gore said soaring gasoline prices and the current economic turmoil have created a new political environment where Americans are hungry for change.

“I do not remember a time in our country when so many things seem to be going so wrong simultaneously,” he said. “Our economy is in terrible shape and getting worse. People are hurting. Gasoline prices are increasing dramatically and so are electricity rates. Jobs are being outsourced. Home mortgages are in trouble. Banks, automobile companies, other institutions we depend upon are under growing pressure.”

Gore called on all Americans to pull together, citing the kind of national effort that made it possible for Neil Armstrong to walk on the moon just eight years after former President John F. Kennedy issued that challenge. He said both current presidential candidates—Barack Obama and John McCain—are ahead of most politicians in the fight against global climate change.