Barroso Gas Guzzler
Mr Barroso says his role is to set EU-wide energy targets
Jose Manuel Barroso's four-wheel drive emits far more carbon dioxide than the EU's own targets for vehicles.
But Mr Barroso says comments about his environmentally damaging car smack of "overzealous moralism".
The row comes as EU leaders are meeting to discuss carbon emissions targets at a major summit in Brussels.
Mr Barroso is in favour of tougher curbs on carbon emissions as part of Europe's efforts to combat global warming. But he has defended his choice of a Volkswagen Tourag, a model that emits around 350 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre driven.
The amount is well above the 130 grams per kilometre target set for all cars on Europe's roads by 2012.
"Look, I don't comment on private choices, the choices of your family or my family," Mr Barroso told the BBC. "Our duty is to set targets and translate them into legislation. I don't think this climate of over-zealous moralism on the environment helps us."
The BBC's business reporter, Mark Gregory, says that Mr Barroso is not alone in making personal choices that jar with public policy.
Most commissioners, he says, drive cars that pollute at above-average levels with German-built high-tech BMWs or Mercedes being the favoured models.British Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson, however, has opted for a fuel-thirsty Jaguar. Nice one Mandy ! Well I guess atleast you don't have 2 jags like Mr Prescott - well we hope not anyway?
Commissioners - please start putting your money where your mouths are and Make Good Choices
From Your Friend The Energy Angel