Al Gore Draws Flak On Utility Bill

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NASHVILLE, Tenn.—Al Gore, a leading voice against global warming, is being criticized by a conservative group that claims his Nashville mansion uses too much electricity. A Gore spokeswoman said the former vice president invests in enough renewable energy to make up for the home's power consumption.

On Sunday, Gore's documentary film "An Inconvenient Truth," which chronicled his campaign against global warming, won an Academy Award.

The next day, the Tennessee Center for Policy Research issued a statement saying Gore was not doing enough to reduce his own electricity consumption. The group disputes that global warming is a serious problem.

"We wanted to see if he was living by his own recommendations and walking the walk," said think tank president Drew Johnson.

Utility records show the Gore family paid an average monthly electric bill of about $1,200 last year for its 10,000-square-foot home.

The Gores used about 191,000 kilowatt hours in 2006, according to bills reviewed by The Associated Press. The typical Nashville household uses about 15,600 kilowatt-hours per year.

The group said that Gore used nearly 221,000 kilowatt hours last year and that his average monthly electric bill was $1,359. Johnson said his group got its figures from Nashville Electric Service.

But company spokeswoman Laurie Parker said the utility never got a request from the policy center and never gave it any information.

Gore spokeswoman Kalee Kreider said: "Sometimes when people don't like the message, in this case that global warming is real, it's convenient to attack the messenger."

Kreider said Gore purchases enough energy from renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and methane gas to balance 100 percent of his electricity costs.

Gore, who owns homes in Carthage, Tenn., and in the Washington area, has said he leads a "carbon-neutral lifestyle." To balance out other carbon emissions, the Gores invest money in projects to reduce energy consumption, Kreider said.

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