Gore energizes ballot blurb

Former vice prez shores up Prop. 87 support

Former vice president Al Gore will appear in his first campaign ad since he left office, urging California voters to pass Proposition 87, a ballot initiative that would raise $4 billion toward reducing the use of oil in the state by 25%.

In the ad, titled “Energy Security,” Gore will build on the message of his “An Inconvenient Truth” global-warming doc and press the dangers of relying on imported oil.

Campaign for the ballot initiative has been primarily bankrolled by Hollywood financier Steve Bing, who has donated $40 million to the yes campaign so far.

In addition to financing films through his Shangri-La Entertainment shingle, Bing has emerged in recent years as one of the top donors to Democratic and liberal campaigns.

Gore ad will begin running throughout the state on Monday. Ad will be unveiled at an event in Beverly Hills hosted by James Caan and Jamie Lee Curtis. Ten other unveiling ceremonies are skedded in other markets.

Proposition 87 would impose a tax on oil extracted from California and fund the creation of a state agency that would implement programs to research and promote the use of alternative energy.

The opposition campaign has raised more than $50 million, much of it from the oil companies that would have to pay the new tax, and says the initiative would raise gas prices.

Among those in Hollywood also supporting Proposition 87 are Rob Reiner and Norman Lear.

While Gore went on a media blitz to promote his global-warming doc, which grossed nearly $24 million for Paramount Vantage, he has not directly endorsed specific legislation since he left office in 2000.

There is speculation among politicos that Gore may run for president again in 2008.

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