by Michael dEstries
Categories: Home, People.

snipshot_bx1fuf4sbf4a.jpgI think we can all agree that Al Gore needs to reduce his energy consumption. That being said, it was incredible how nasty everything became after Oscar night once the Tennessee Center for Policy Research released utility bills showing that the Gores were energy hogs. People were shouting! Fox News was angry! Children were crying! Mass hysteria, everywhere.

And then, well, we discovered that the big picture wasn’t as bad as we thought. Turns out, our fears of hypocrisy had been conjured by another case of political spin. Yes, the Gores were/are consuming more energy than the average American — but — they are also taking steps to reduce their carbon footprint through offsets, energy efficient appliances and lights, solar panels, etc. The big picture painted a more balanced view of the situation.

Now comes information that the Tennessee Center for Policy Research may have inflated their numbers. In fact, nobody is sure where they got them from in the fist place. From Time Magazine,

“Utility records show the Gore family paid an average monthly electric bill of about $1,200 last year for its 10,000-square-foot home. The Gores used about 191,000 kilowatt hours in 2006, according to bills reviewed by The Associated Press. The typical Nashville household uses about 15,600 kilowatt-hours per year.

The group said that Gore used nearly 221,000 kilowatt hours last year and that his average monthly electric bill was $1,359. Johnson said his group got its figures from Nashville Electric Service. But company spokeswoman Laurie Parker said the utility never got a request from the policy center and never gave it any information.”

Huh? As if we didn’t need enough reasons to be suspicious of this group, now the whole things appears really fishy….

Again, from the article,

“Gore spokeswoman Kalee Kreider said: ‘Sometimes when people don’t like the message, in this case that global warming is real, it’s convenient to attack the messenger.’ Kreider said Gore purchases enough energy from renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and methane gas to balance 100 percent of his electricity costs.”

There are two things we can take away from what’s happened this week: One, if you’re a Gore supporter, have no worries. The guy is still green, but needs to reduce his consumption — and he’s working on it. I have no doubt this latest debacle will cause him to speed things up a little. Two, the Tennessee Center for Policy Research is about as nonpartisan as Dick Cheney.

Thanks again to Becky for the link!  

About Michael dEstries

Michael has been blogging since 2005 on issues such as sustainability, renewable energy, philanthropy, and healthy living. He regularly contributes to a slew of publications, as well as consulting with companies looking to make an impact using the web and social media. He lives in Ithaca, NY with his family on an apple farm.

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