April 24, 2009
When Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn confronted Al Gore with his profiteering from global warming legislation at today’s House Energy and Environment Subcommittee hearing on the Waxman-Markey climate bill, Al Gore said that every penny he ever made from his business activities went into non-profit efforts. [See transcript below.]
Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore left the White House seven years ago with less than $2 million in assets, including a Virginia home and the family farm in Tennessee. Now he’s making enough to put $35 million in hedge funds and other private partnerships.
Gore invested the money with Capricorn Investment Group LLC, a Palo Alto, California, firm that selects the private funds for clients and invests in makers of environmentally friendly products, according to a Feb. 1 securities filing. Capricorn was founded by billionaire Jeffrey Skoll, former president of EBay Inc. and an executive producer of Gore’s Oscar-winning documentary film on global warming.
Kudos to Rep. Blackburn for asking one of the “10 Questions for Al Gore” and exposing Gore as the fundamentally dishonest operator that he is.
Here’s the transcript from the April 24, 2009 exchange between Al Gore and Rep. Blackburn. Note that not only does Al Gore lie to Rep. Blackburn, he tries to turn the tables by implicitly accusing her of being anti-business.
Rep. Blackburn: …You talked a little about [that] people have to have trust in what you’re doing and I think you know that this bill is going to fundamentally change the way America works and it’s going to effect families. We’ve all talked about how it affects individuals and what it’s going to do to their budgets and… ah… what it’s going to do to jobs in this country. And given the magnitude of those changes, I think it’s really important that no suspicion or shadow fall on the foremost advocates of climate change legislation. So I wanted to give you the opportunity to kind of clear the air about your motives and to set the record straight about your motives for some of your former constituents. And I’ve got an article from [the] October 8  New York Times Magazine about a firm called Kleiner Perkins… a capital firm called Kleiner Perkins. Are you aware of that company?
Al Gore: Well, yes. I’m a partner at Kleiner Perkins.
Rep. Blackburn: So you’re a partner in Kleiner Perkins. OK. Now they have invested about a billion dollars in 40 companies that are going to benefit from cap-and-trade legislation. So is the legislation that we are discussing here today, is that something that you are going to personally benefit from?
Al Gore: [Sigh]… I believe that the transition to a green economy is good for our economy and good for all of us. And I have invested in it. But every penny that I have made, I have put right into a nonprofit, the Alliance for Climate Protection, to spread awareness of why we have to take on this challenge. And, Congresswoman, if you’re… if you believe that the reason I have been working on this issue for 30 years is because of greed, you don’t know me.
Rep. Blackburn: No, sir, I’m not making accusations. I’m asking questions that have been asked of me. And individuals… constituents… that were seeking a point of clarity. So I am asking…
Al Gore: I understand exactly what you’re doing Congresswoman. Everybody here does.
Rep. Blackburn: Well, are you willing to divest yourself of any profit. Does all of it go to a not-for-profit. Is it an education not-for-profit?
Al Gore: Every penny that I have made has gone to it. Every penny from the movie, the book… uh… from any investments from renewable energy. I’ve been willing to put my money where my mouth is. Do you think there is something wrong with being active in business in this country?
Rep. Blackburn: I am simply asking for clarification on the relationship.
Al Gore: I’m proud of it. I’m proud of it.
Rep. Blackburn: Thank you and I appreciate the answer…