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27 February 2007 Blog Home : February 2007 : Permalink

Power Struggle

A month ago Dean Barnett posted a FAQ about John "One America" Edwards' new pied à terre where he talked about its size - and the WAPO here has a nice picture of the spread in its 28,000 square foot, clear cut glory. This month it is the turn of Al "Save the planet" Gore to be discovered doing the conspicuous consumption thing (via MKH and Roger L Simon):

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, 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 the 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.

I don't begrudge Mr Gore his electricity bill, as I assume that at least part of that is because he is working from home and probably has a load of computers, office staff etc. but I do kind of wonder why he does not seem to have availed himself of alternative power generation means such as solar panels. I suppose, since its in a posh area of Nashville, it could be that there is some Home Owners Association regulation forbidding the things but otherwise there would seem to be no excuse for not spending the money to use green renewable energy for as much of the power requirement as possible. Surely Mr Gore isn't going to claim that the weather is such that solar panels don't work? And if it is the HOA regulations why isn't Mr Gore filing a suit to get this NIMBY like behaviour overturned for the good of the planet? I mean its far less intrusive that the Cape Cod wind farm that had his mate Ted Kennedy upset.

Actually on that note I wonder what the power consumption of Mr Edwatrds' house will be. And since, unlike Mr Gore, Mr Edwards' house is in its own 102 acre estate, why there are no signs of solar panels or windfarms there? Unfortunately I fear that in neither case with the most stuitable source of power - political hot air - be sufficient to run anything.

PS as a commented at Roger's page notes, a certain G W Bush has passive solar and geothermal heating/cooling.
PPS The first comment on that article is almost a classic of outraged greeeniedom. You see (and I paraphrase) it doesn't matter whether GWB actually lives in an environmentally suitable way or not, he deserves our scorn because he hasn't used his power as supreme dictator to force the rest of us to do the same thing.

I despise l'Escroc and Vile Pin