Do As I Say

Current TV baron Al Gore: ‘No such thing as ethical oil’
Al Gore / AP

Al Gore / AP


Former Vice President Al Gore informed Canadians Tuesday that there is no such thing as “ethical oil” in a public talk just a few months after the sale of his Current TV to Qatar-backed Al Jazeera.

Gore told the crowd that “American democracy has been hacked” by special interests, and later emphasized his opposition to the Keystone XL Pipeline, the Globe and Mail reports:

In a public interview with The Globe and Mail’s editor-in-chief, John Stackhouse, Mr. Gore also spoke of his wish that U.S. president Barack Obama would cancel the Keystone XL pipeline intended to transport heavy crude from the Alberta oil sands to U.S. refineries. In part because oil-sands crude requires more energy to extract than conventional sources, and so produces more greenhouse gases per barrel, he suggested that the full social and environmental cost of developing the oil sands made it a more expensive proposition than a faster move by the U.S. to renewable sources.

When Mr. Stackhouse asked whether Alberta oil was more ethical because it came from a democratic nation with a commitment to human rights, Mr. Gore rejected the term.

“There’s no such thing as ethical oil,” he said. “There’s only dirty oil and dirtier oil.” The remark triggered applause from a nearly full house at the Globe-sponsored event at a Ryerson University auditorium.

Gore pocketed an estimated $70 million after debt on the January sale of Current TV to Al Jazeera, which is backed by the oil-rich Qatari monarchy. He reportedly pushed for the sale to be completed before Jan. 1, 2013, to avoid an increased tax burden. Since his defeat in 2000, Gore has acquired an estimated $200 million, Bloomberg reported earlier this week.