Debating Al Gore's Energy Speech

Debating Al Gore's Energy Speech

Hannity & Colmes - July 18, 2008


AL GORE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We have less than 10 years to make dramatic changes in our global warming pollution, lest we lose our ability to ever recover from this environmental crisis.


COLMES: That was Al Gore giving a speech about environmental issues, but does the former vice president practice what he preaches? Critics said Americans for prosperity don't think so. You can take a look now at what they found outside the Gore event.


GRAPHIC: This is Al Gore's fleet: two Lincoln town cars and a Suburban SUV! One of the town cars even idled with the AC on for 20 minutes! So we asked Gore's driver if he knows that's bad for the environment.

ED FRANK, VICE PRESIDENT, AMERICANS FOR PROSPERITY: You know you've been idling with the air conditioning on for -- since 1:25? That's very bad for the environment.

GRAPHIC: Oh, well. At least the car was nice and cool when Tipper and Karenna Gore finally got in and drove away. The Gore message of the day: sacrifice for thee but not for me!


COLMES: Joining us now vice president for Americans for Prosperity, Ed Frank.

Ed, you don't like a cool car on a hot day?

FRANK: Well, I love a good cool car on a hot day. But I think the point is that Al Gore, when he sent out the invitations to this event, he encouraged all of his -- all of his supporters to ride bicycles or take public transportation, and he obviously didn't practice what he preached.

COLMES: I know you want to make Gore the issue here, rather than the message. And you want to shoot the messenger.

But the other part of the tape we did not show has, whoever it was acting on behalf of your organization, and it may have been you. Was it interviewing people as they were coming out of cars, harassing them, berating them for taking cars to the event? Was that you?

FRANK: It was me. But I wasn't harassing or berating anybody.

COLMES: Well, a lot of people walked away and said, you know, "Leave me alone."

FRANK: I don't -- I don't think anybody actually did that.

COLMES: The first guy did exactly that.

FRANK: Well, if you would let me finish.


FRANK: What we were doing is we were actually having a taxpayer rally. We've been going around the country on something called the Hot Air Global Warming Tour, which is aiming to, you know, sort of expose a lot of the hot air in this global warming debate and point out the high economic costs of some of these so-called solutions to global warming.

COLMES: Do you believe there is such a thing as global warming?


COLMES: Is there such a thing...

FRANK: I think -- I think most Americans think that the earth is warming. I think there's a legitimate debate to be had on whether that is man made and, if so, to what extent. But we at Americans for Prosperity, we are an economic group, and we are trying to point out the high cost of the so-called solutions out there. We're talking about $8-a-gallon gasoline. We're talking about millions of people losing their jobs. And that's what we've been...

COLMES: And the way to solve that problem is to have renewable energy sources. Because the short-term solutions, like speculating on oil. And when Al Gore said -- you want to talk about the messenger. I want to talk about the message. Gore said that we should be able to produce all of our electricity with earth-friendly carbon-free power, do you disagree with that?

FRANK: No, we don't disagree with that. I think we need -- I think fundamentally, Americans understand that this is an issue of supply and demand. There is not enough supply of energy of all kinds to meet the demand that's out there right now.

So I think we need -- you know, we're for all of the above. We want to have more oil drilling. I think that would help, obviously, bring down the cost of gasoline at the pump. But it would also -- we need all kinds - - you know, we need more solar. We need more -- we need more studying to nuclear power. We need more study into all of these alternatives.

But I think the key is we don't want the government picking winners and losers. We want private entrepreneurs to go out there and fund all of these things and find the best one.

STEELE: You're absolutely right. Let's keep -- you know, I've said for a long time if we took the politicians and the government out of this and brought the smart people in this country, the business community, the environmentalists, everybody in a room and have them work it out and present a plan, that would be a good first step.

I just want to know, what is the message that Al is sending? We've got footage of our Mr. Environmental getting out of his limousine, you know, as most liberals like to travel, from what...


STEELE: While they're reprimanding us to take our bikes. And then you've got Obama, you know, who's sitting out here telling everybody, you know, that, yes, we want to reduce America's dependency, it's 20 million- barrel-a-day dependency on oil. And yet doesn't want to do the one thing that can begin to get us on that road to independence. And that is drill, baby, drill.

I mean, what -- how do you see this thing getting played out when you have, you know, the left kind of coming at us, telling us that we've got to do it a certain way and ignoring all the things that we can do right now to begin to address this issue?

FRANK: Right, you know, and I think this is actually just fundamentally supply and demand. We need more supply of all kinds of energy. We're not against solar energy. We're not against nuclear energy. We are for more energy of all kinds. But we don't want the government to pick winners and losers.

We saw what happened when that happened last year, when the government tried to pick ethanol as the big winner. And what happened is we took 25 percent of our corn off the dinner table and burned it for fuel. And what you saw was, according to the World Bank, a 75 percent increase in the price of food around the world. We had food riots. We had people literally starving.

And that's what happens when the government comes in and tries to pick winners and losers. What we need is for the government to get out of the way and let entrepreneurs, you know, fund the best new technologies that are actually viable.

STEELE: Who gets the ultimate short end of the stick in this whole thing, in your assessment? When you look at some the proposals that are out there, and you just cited one with ethanol, for example, and you know, I'm sure there are many others.

Isn't there a lack of concern about the downstream effect on the poor and those who are the lower middle class, blue-collar workers out there who are now paying $5, almost $5.50 for a gallon of gas in some parts of the country.

I mean, what is this overall impact when you have this globalization or environmental first without a down ticket or downstream assessment?

FRANK: Oh, sure. Al Gore and a lot of folks at that event yesterday, they're going to be fine. We actually found one guy at the event outside who argue that you we need $8-a-gallon gasoline, because that's what they have in Europe, and he thinks they're doing great in Europe.

And in a certain way I really appreciate that guy, because he's one of the few honest ones in this debate. The cap and trade global warming bill that was up on Capitol Hill about a month ago and got shot down by the Senate.

STEELE: It's another good example.

FRANK: Specifically designed -- specifically designed to raise the cost of energy, and we just -- if they want to do that, great. We'll have that debate. But they need to be honest about it.

STEELE: Thanks, Ed. Thank you very much.

FRANK: Thank you.

Hannity & Colmes


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