Mr. Edwards, How Much Does Energy Cost For Your Mansion?

March 20th, 2007 12:56 PM

It was Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards trying to revive his ‘70s disco moves and he danced around every tough question CNN’s Miles O’Brien threw at him. Most notably, how much does it cost to pay for energy in the new 28,000-square-foot mansion Edwards calls home?

Edwards tried several answers during the March 20 “American Morning”:

  • “It’s actually not bad.” And followed that up with talk of how energy efficient the home was.
  • “I’m not telling you. It’s actually, it’s actually not bad. It’s about three or four hundred dollars, the last one I saw.”
  • Following that claim, Edwards backed off a bit and said “the power bill is several hundred dollars a month.”

Edwards also claimed he and his family operate the house in a “carbon neutral way,” though he wants to put caps on how much carbon dioxide businesses operate. “We have committed to operate this house in a carbon neutral way which means in addition to using energy saving devices in the house itself, to the extent that doesn’t cover it, we’re going to purchase carbon credits on the market,” said Edwards.

Such offsets have been big news lately and even the Oscars claimed they were “carbon neutral.” The March 26 issue of BusinessWeek questioned the whole nature of such offsets and said “some deals amount to little more than feel good hype.”

Former Vice President Al Gore has received criticism for his own carbon offsets, though the media have been supportive. “If more people do it over time, it’s a good thing,” said reporter Russ Mitchell during the “Early Show” on CBS February 22.

O’Brien asked about Edwards “getting Americans to conserve more.” Edwards responded with talk of conservation and then requirements. “One of the things that’s going to be required is for Americans to be willing to drive more fuel efficient vehicles and to be willing to conserve and we want to help them do that.”