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1. TRANSITION:

DOE nominee stresses climate change as confirmation begins

Steven Chu, the Nobel laureate physicist tapped by President-elect Barack Obama to lead the Energy Department, opened his Senate confirmation hearing today by warning of dire consequences of unchecked global warming. "It is now clear that if we continue on our current path, we run the risk of dramatic, disruptive changes to our climate system in the lifetimes of our children and grandchildren," Chu told the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

2. TRANSITION:

Energy policy critical to State's mission -- Clinton

Climate change is an "unambiguous security threat" that could spark worldwide conflicts, Secretary of State designee Hillary Rodham Clinton today warned Senate leaders considering her nomination. Testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the Democratic New York senator vowed to make energy policy a central part of the State Department's diplomatic mission.

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