Al Gore's Electric Bills Get Criticism Ahead of 'An Inconvenient Sequel'
A conservative think tank claims that the former vice president uses at least 21 times more energy than the average American.
Al Gore's environmental documentary An Inconvenient Sequel opens Friday, so a conservative think tank figured it was the perfect time to accuse the former vp of hypocrisy, using Gore's electric bills from his Nashville home to claim he uses at least 21 times more energy than the average American.
The group says "at least" 21 times because they only looked at the energy consumption at Gore's Nashville home, not his other two houses. In one peak month, September last year, Gore's power consumption at the Nashville home reached 34 times that of a typical American home, according to the group, the National Center for Public Policy Research.
Drew Johnson, who authored the study, says he was supplied Gore's bills from employees of the Nashville Electric Service, though it's iffy as to whether such information is supposed to be a matter of public record.
The study indicates that Gore's 20-room, 10,070 square-foot mansion used nearly 231,000 kilowatt hours of electricity in the last 12 months compared with less than 11,000 for an average American house.
One of his findings, Johnson told The Hollywood Reporter, is that the amount of electricity Gore uses to heat his pool each year could power the average U.S. home for six years.
This is the second time Johnson ran the numbers on Gore's Nashville property, the first time being shortly after An Inconvenient Truth won an Oscar a decade ago.
"I was watching all these celebrities on stage asking Americans to make sacrifices for the environment. You've got the Ed Begleys of the world who actually do strive for a carbon footprint of zero, so I wondered if Gore was one of them," he says.
Johnson said that this time around he expected to see a drop in power at Gore's home compared to a decade ago, but it has actually increased.
Gore often notes that his homes are environmentally friendly, but Johnson says his study proves otherwise. The 33 solar panels Gore installed in Nashville produce only 5.7 percent of the home's annual energy consumption while about 3.2 percent more is off the grid, generated by wind and solar, with a bit more coming from hydro-electric dams, he says.
"Even with the greatest benefit of the doubt, you could say he gets to about 20 percent in clean energy, nowhere near the 100 percent he has claimed in the press," said Johnson, who is scheduled to appear Wednesday on Tucker Carlson's show on the Fox News Channel.
"It's frustrating if you're an environmentalist because Gore sets himself up as a prophet — but he's actually a fraud and a charlatan," Johnson said.
Gore was not available for comment.
Johnson said Gore pays about $22,000 in annual electric bills for his Nashville home, not including $432 a month he pays for carbon credits, consisting of money that goes to the Tennessee Valley Authority to fund alternative energy initiatives.
"You've got to ring the bell of hypocrisy here," says Johnson. "It's like a religious leader cheating on his wife."