One of the more, uh, interesting moments from Friday’s climate hearings in the House was this exchange between Al Gore and Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), who suggested that Gore would profit from a cap-and-trade bill.
Here’s the video, via TPM, and a transcription follows:
Blackburn: 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 maybe set the record straight for some of your former constituents. And I’ve got an article from Oct. 8 New York Times Magazine about a firm called Kleiner Perkins, a capital firm called Kleiner Perkins. Are you aware of that company?
Gore: Well, yes, I’m a partner at Kleiner Perkins.
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 gong to personally benefit from?
Gore: 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.
Blackburn: No sir, I’m not making accusations. I’m asking questions that have been asked of me. And individual constituents who were asking a point of clarity. so I am asking you for that point of clarity …
Gore: I understand exactly what you’re doing, Congresswoman. Everybody here does.
Blackburn: Are you willing to divest yourself of any profit? Does all of it go to a not-for-profit that is an educational … ?
Gore: Every penny that I have made has gone to it. Every penny from the movie, from the book, from any investments in renewable energy. I’ve been willing to put my money where my mouth is. Do you think there’s something wrong with being active in business in this country?
Blackburn: I am simply asking for clarification of the relationship.
Gore: I’m proud of it. I’m proud of it.