The charge against undeclared but widely mentioned potential presidential candidate Al Gore, from the Tennessee Center for Policy Research:
Gore’s mansion, 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.
The defense, as told to Think Progress.
1) Gore’s family has taken numerous steps to reduce the carbon footprint of their private residence, including signing up for 100 percent green power through Green Power Switch, installing solar panels, and using compact fluorescent bulbs and other energy saving technology.
2) Gore has had a consistent position of purchasing carbon offsets to offset the family’s carbon footprint — a concept the right-wing fails to understand. Gore’s office explains:
What Mr. Gore has asked is that every family calculate their carbon footprint and try to reduce it as much as possible. Once they have done so, he then advocates that they purchase offsets, as the Gore’s do, to bring their footprint down to zero.
It’s great that Al is installing solar panels and fluorescent bulbs, but according to Tennessee Power, his usage is still going up. The number’s going in the wrong direction, buddy.
I’m in complete agreement with Captain Ed. Gore’s claim that he’s no eco-sinner because he purchasing “carbon offsets” essentially means that rich people can pay for other people to plant trees on their behalf; poor people don’t have that option. And by the way – how many trees is Al having planted on his behalf to offset 18,400 kWh per month? That’s gotta be a heck of a lot of trees.
On a related note, when trying to determine if Gore is serious about running, David Frum says, “follow the waistline.”