Update: Al Gore - Do As I Say, Not As I Do
Update: This story has now been picked up in the mainstream media.
From Drudge: POWER: GORE MANSION USES 20X AVERAGE HOUSEHOLD; CONSUMPTION INCREASE AFTER 'TRUTH'
- ABC News at abc13.com reports back home in Tennessee, safely ensconced in his suburban Nashville home, Vice President Al Gore is no doubt basking in the Oscar awarded to "An Inconvenient Truth," the documentary he inspired and in which he starred. But a local free-market think tank is trying to make that very home emblematic of what it deems Gore's environmental hypocrisy.
Armed with Gore's utility bills for the last two years, the Tennessee Center for Policy Research charged Monday that the gas and electric bills for the former vice president's 20-room home and pool house devoured nearly 221,000 kilowatt-hours in 2006, more than 20 times the national average of 10,656 kilowatt-hours.Making excuses and purchasing offsets for a large carbon footprint does nothing to reduce consumption and thereby eliminate greenhouse gasses.
Kalee Kreider, a spokesperson for the Gores, did not dispute the Center's figures, taken as they were from public records. But she pointed out that both Al and Tipper Gore work out of their home and she argued that "the bottom line is that every family has a different carbon footprint. And what Vice President Gore has asked is for families to calculate that footprint and take steps to reduce and offset it."
A carbon footprint is a calculation of the CO2 fossil fuel emissions each person is responsible for, either directly because of his or her transportation and energy consumption or indirectly because of the manufacture and eventual breakdown of products he or she uses. (You can calculate your own carbon footprint on the website http://www.carbonfootprint.com/)
The vice president has done that, Kreider argues, and the family tries to offset that carbon footprint by purchasing their power through the local Green Power Switch program — electricity generated through renewable resources such as solar, wind, and methane gas, which create less waste and pollution. "In addition, they are in the midst of installing solar panels on their home, which will enable them to use less power," Kreider added. "They also use compact fluorescent bulbs and other energy efficiency measures and then they purchase offsets for their carbon emissions to bring their carbon footprint down to zero."
These efforts did little to impress Johnson. "I appreciate the solar panels," he said, "but he also has natural gas lanterns in his yard, a heated pool, and an electric gate. While I appreciate that he's switching out some light bulbs, he is not living the lifestyle that he advocates."
- According to Fox News, Al Gore responded not to the initial Tennessee Center for Policy Research press release to traditional media outlets, but instead, Gore responded to The Drudge Report's posting of the news through the left-wing blog Think Progress.
"What Mr. Gore has asked is that every family calculate their carbon footprint and try to reduce it as much as possible," Gore's office said, according to Thinkprogress.org. "Once they have done so, he then advocates that they purchase offsets, as the Gores do, to bring their footprint down to zero."
- The story that started it all: The Tennessee Center for Policy Research, an independent, nonprofit and nonpartisan research organization committed to achieving a freer, more prosperous Tennessee through free market policy solutions, issued a press release late Monday:
Last night, Al Gore’s global-warming documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, collected an Oscar for best documentary feature, but the Tennessee Center for Policy Research has found that Gore deserves a gold statue for hypocrisy.
Gore’s mansion, [20-room, eight-bathroom] located in the posh Belle Meade area of Nashville, consumes more electricity every month than the average American household uses in an entire year, according to the Nashville Electric Service (NES).
In his documentary, the former Vice President calls on Americans to conserve energy by reducing electricity consumption at home.
The average household in America consumes 10,656 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year, according to the Department of Energy. In 2006, Gore devoured nearly 221,000 kWh—more than 20 times the national average.
Last August alone, Gore burned through 22,619 kWh—guzzling more than twice the electricity in one month than an average American family uses in an entire year. As a result of his energy consumption, Gore’s average monthly electric bill topped $1,359.
Since the release of An Inconvenient Truth, Gore’s energy consumption has increased from an average of 16,200 kWh per month in 2005, to 18,400 kWh per month in 2006.
Gore’s extravagant energy use does not stop at his electric bill. Natural gas bills for Gore’s mansion and guest house averaged $1,080 per month last year.
“As the spokesman of choice for the global warming movement, Al Gore has to be willing to walk to walk, not just talk the talk, when it comes to home energy use,” said Tennessee Center for Policy Research President Drew Johnson.
In total, Gore paid nearly $30,000 in combined electricity and natural gas bills for his Nashville estate in 2006.
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