This is Al Gore’s House. It uses twenty times as much energy as the average American home. $30,000 a year in utility bills yet he thinks he can lecture you on your carbon footprint
ABC NEWS reports:
Back home in Tennessee, safely ensconced in his suburban Nashville home, Vice President Al Gore is no doubt basking in the Oscar awarded to “An Inconvenient Truth,” the documentary he inspired and in which he starred. But a local free-market think tank is trying to make that very home emblematic of what it deems Gore’s environmental hypocrisy.
Armed with Gore’s utility bills for the last two years, the Tennessee Center for Policy Research charged Monday that the gas and electric bills for the former vice president’s 20-room home and pool house devoured nearly 221,000 kilowatt-hours in 2006, more than 20 times the national average of 10,656 kilowatt-hours.
“If this were any other person with $30,000-a-year in utility bills, I wouldn’t care,” says the Center’s 27-year-old president, Drew Johnson. “But he tells other people how to live and he’s not following his own rules.”
Scoffed a former Gore adviser in response: “I think what you’re seeing here is the last gasp of the global warming skeptics. They’ve completely lost the debate on the issue so now they’re just attacking their most effective opponent.”
Kalee Kreider, a spokesperson for the Gores, did not dispute the Center’s figures, taken as they were from public records. But she pointed out that both Al and Tipper Gore work out of their home and she argued that “the bottom line is that every family has a different carbon footprint. And what Vice President Gore has asked is for families to calculate that footprint and take steps to reduce and offset it.”Article Continues Below
A carbon footprint is a calculation of the CO2 fossil fuel emissions each person is responsible for, either directly because of his or her transportation and energy consumption or indirectly because of the manufacture and eventual breakdown of products he or she uses. (You can calculate your own carbon footprint on the website http://www.carbonfootprint.com/)
The former vice president has installed solar panels, a rainwater-collection system and geothermal heating. He also replaced all incandescent lights with compact fluorescent or light-emitting diode bulbs.
The Tennessean also noted that the Gores had been paying a $432 per month premium on their monthly electricity bills in order to obtain some of their electricity from “green” sources (i.e., solar or other renewable energy sources).
Also, by the end of 2007 the Gores completed renovations that made their home much more energy-efficient:
“Short of tearing it down and staring anew, I don’t know how it could have been rated any higher,” said Kim Shinn of the U.S. Green Building Council, which gave the house its second-highest rating for sustainable design.
Credit where credit is due to Bush though:
“The 4,000-square-foot house is a model of environmental rectitude.
“Geothermal heat pumps located in a central closet circulate water through pipes buried 300 feet deep in the ground where the temperature is a constant 67 degrees; the water heats the house in the winter and cools it in the summer. Systems such as the one in this “eco-friendly” dwelling use about 25 percent of the electricity that traditional heating and cooling systems utilize.”
Wastewater from showers, sinks and toilets go into purifying tanks underground and is used with collected rainwater as irrigation. Water for the house comes from a well.
Bush’s house was designed to be a money saver — and a water saver.
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