WASHINGTON, DC: He preaches; evidently, he does not practise. On Sunday, former US vice-president Al Gore won the Oscar for An Inconvenient Truth, a hard-hitting documentary on global warming and its catastrophic effects.
On Tuesday, a Tennessee-based conservative think-tank revealed that the world’s foremost campaigner against global warming and carbon emissions spends 20 times the US national average on his monthly energy bill.
Tennessee Centre for Policy Research (TCPR), based in Gore’s home town of Nashville, published findings on Tuesday that Gore’s monthly energy bill averaged $2,439 (approximately Rs 1.1 lakh) a month in 2006.
In fact, the group said, Gore’s house uses up more power in one month than an average American home does in a whole year. The group said the figures were provided by the Nashville Electric Service (NES).
In his defence, an Al Gore spokesperson said that though the figures were correct, the former vice-president invests in enough renewable energy to make up for his home’s energy consumption.
Kalee Kreider said that Gore purchases enough green power such as solar, wind and methane gas to offset almost all of his electricity costs. “Sometimes when people don’t like the message, in this case that global warming is real, it’s convenient to attack the messenger,” she said.
The TCPR report said, “The average household in America consumes 10,656 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year, according to the Department of Energy. In 2006, Gore devoured nearly 2,21,000 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.” TCPR President Drew Johnson said, “As the spokesperson of choice for the global warming movement, Al Gore has to be willing to walk the walk, not just talk the talk, when it comes to home energy use.” The group also called Gore a “hypocrite.”
According to NES spokesperson Laurie Parker, however, Gore has been purchasing green power for $432 a month since November. Gore purchases 108 such blocks every month at $4 per block, covering 16,200 kilowatt-hours and helping subsidise renewable energy sources.