Gore Accuses Koch Brothers of Being 'Purveyors of the Dirtiest Energy on Earth'

Former Vice President Al Gore made some disgraceful statements about the Koch brothers Tuesday.

Participating in a Google+ Conversation, Gore accused two of the nation's largest employers of being "purveyors of the dirtiest energy on earth" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

AL GORE: [Obama’s] got a big decision coming up on the XL Pipeline for these awful, filthy tar sands that, you know, Canada just said, "Don’t take it across British Columbia. We’re not going to put up with that. It’s just too dirty and too dangerous."

Not surprisingly, Gore was stretching the truth a bit here.

The government of British Columbia has rejected the Keystone XL pipeline. However, as PRI.org reported Tuesday, it's questionable whether or not this will impact construction: "[A]pproving the pipeline is the province of the federal government, so the B.C. decision could be largely symbolic."

By contrast, CBC News reported last month:

Prime Minister Stephen Harper told an American audience today that the Keystone XL pipeline "absolutely needs to go ahead."

Harper made the pipeline pitch while taking questions at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City.

He laid out the case for why U.S. President Barack Obama's administration should approve the proposed pipeline that would connect Alberta's oilsands to the Gulf Coast, touting job creation prospects. Harper said the project will create 40,000 jobs south of the Canadian border and that can't be ignored.

"This is an enormous benefit to the U.S. in terms of long-term energy security," Harper added.

He acknowledged environmental challenges, but said that the intensity of greenhouse gas emissions attributed to the Alberta oilsands have dropped by 25 per cent over the last decade and that the government is continuing to invest in technology to further reduce emissions.

The prime minister also said that the amount of emissions from the oilsands plays a small part in total global emissions.

Not surprisingly, none of this matters to Gore who is heavily invested in green energy and stands to take a bath if America really opens the door to tar sands both here and in Canada:

GORE: And they want to put a pipeline right down through very environmentally sensitive parts of our country so they can export it from the Gulf of Mexico to China. Well, the hell with that. It’s the dirtiest form of fuel on the planet, except for its byproduct, petroleum coke, or pet coke, that’s piling up on the Detroit River right now, part of it, thanks to the Koch brothers - the purveyors of the dirtiest energy on earth. This is an atrocity, these tar sands. It really, and so, he ought to veto that, and I hope that he will.

Once again, Gore was exaggerating. Forbes reported Saturday:

Detroit’s a growing mountain of pet coke sitting on the dockside. This appears to be becoming one of the environmental cause celebres, combining as it does the involvement of the Koch brothers, carbon emissions, Canadian tar sands and the Keystone XL pipeline.

After many scientific details about pet coke, author Tim Worstall concluded:

[P]et coke could potentially by [sic] much less polluting than other forms of coal fired electricity production. This is because the purity of it means that carbon capture and storage would be much easier (in much the same way that CCS with natural gas is much easier than with coal). [...]

[T]he bottom line here is that some of the commentary about pet coke seems to be rather over egging the pudding about the emissions that come from its use. Yes, absent CCS, emissions are higher than using coal. But the some 5 to 7 % higher per unit of electricity produced, not the 50% and more per tonne material used, is the relevant increase to look at.

So once again, Gore seems to be full of hot air - or as the British would say, "over egging the pudding."

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