Drudge, Gore, and Tennessee

27 February 2007

Drudge recently linked to this press release, and ran this breathless headline:

It's amazing how many news organizations are reporting this uncritically. Don't these people do any fact-checking?

First off, the Tennessee Department of Revenue has stated that the Tennessee Center for Policy Research is "not a legitimate group." Second, the "20x AVERAGE HOUSEHOLD" claim is inflated. That is a national average, which takes into account mobile homes and apartments as well as larger houses like Gore's. The average consumption in the Tennessee region is actually much higher than the national average, due to the hot summers and cold winters in that area. Overall, Gore only consumes 3x the average in his area, not 20x. And if you look at consumption by square-foot, Gore's use is within the average range.

Further, Gore's average energy consumption doesn't even really contribute to much in the way of greenhouse gas emissions. Gore buys his power from Green Power Switch and is even installing solar panels. And even if he wasn't doing so, most of the energy produced in Tennessee comes from hydro-electric and nuclear power anyway, so not even that would be contributing to any significant greenhouse gas emissions.

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