In the wake of Al Gore's Oscar win on Monday night, some folks over at the Tennessee Center for Policy Research decided to have some fun at the former Vice President's expense by printing a detailed analysis of the electric use at his Nashville home:
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).Wow. Gore fired back this morning through the progressive politics site, Think Progress, noting that he and his family try to soften the impact of their electricity use by purchasing green power and buying carbon offsets.
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.
All I could think when I saw the original note is how much larger Gore's carbon footprint would have been if he had lived in a state that gets generates less of its electricity from nuclear energy? After all, Tennessee gets 28.6% of its electricity from nuclear energy (PDF), almost 10% more than the national average.
Plenty of folks are unconvinced at the sincerity of his response. As for me, I just think this whole episode points out how difficult it's really going to be to cut carbon emissions while continuing to provide reliable and affordable electricity. Feel good bromides alone aren't going to get the job done. For more, visit our friends over at NAM Blog and Wizbang.