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Who hates Apple’s bio-gas fuel cell? A coal industry shill

12 April 2012 3,170 views 2 Comments

In today’s hyper-polarized America, no good deed goes unmolested. A case in point is Apple’s construction of a 20MW solar array and 4.8MW bio-gas fuel cell power plant at its North Carolina iCloud data center. Whereas Greenpeace carps that Apple doesn’t lead the tech industry in green energy utilization, the other side bemoans Cupertino’s ‘overpayment’ for electricity.

Yes, Apple is constructing what will be the nation’s largest non-utility solar and fuel-cell power plants with the latter going live as soon as June. That’s a good thing™, right?

Not according to The National Center for Public Policy Research (NCPPR), a conservative think tank that claims Apple board member Al Gore is enriching himself while ripping off shareholders.

“Shareholders must question why Apple is choosing to pay a premium for alternative energy when there are many sources of cheaper energy available in North Carolina, such as coal,” says NCPPR director Tom Borelli, adding that “Gore is trying to ‘bail out his personal investments in alternative energy and green technology.'”

Yup, the one thing we need more of in this country is coal smoke — good ol’ American red, white and black-lung coal.

And, don’t miss the use of the conservative code words “bail out.”

Combustible rhetoric

That said, Gore is a partner in venture-capital firm Kleiner, Perkins, Caulfield & Byers, which has invested in Bloom Energy and it’s widely believed that Bloom will be building the fuel-cell portion of Apple’s North Carolina green energy system. Indirectly or not, Gore could profit from these relationships and that amounts to a conflict of interest, says NCPRR.

However, one suspects the people with heart, lung and breathing ailments — think grandpa, grandma and asthmatic kids — that won’t get sick and/or die because there will be less mercury, arsenic, soot, etc. in the air don’t feel the least bit conflicted…

What’s your take?

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