Billions in corn ethanol subsidies will expire on December 31st if Congress does nothing. According to Reuters, Oscar- and Nobel-winning environmental alarmist Al Gore thinks that corn ethanol subsidies is "not a good policy." Reuters reports:
"It is not a good policy to have these massive subsidies for (U.S.) first generation ethanol," said Gore, speaking at a green energy business conference in Athens sponsored by Marfin Popular Bank.
"First generation ethanol I think was a mistake. The energy conversion ratios are at best very small.
"It's hard once such a programme is put in place to deal with the lobbies that keep it going."
Of course that's not what the former vice-president said when he was running for president back in 2000:
As President, Al Gore will shore up the agriculture safety net that protects farmers when crop prices or yields fall unexpectedly; open foreign markets to American livestock and crops; reduce concentration in agribusiness; and expand non-traditional uses for agricultural products, such as ethanol and bio-based energy and products.
Now Gore admits:
"One of the reasons I made that mistake is that I paid particular attention to the farmers in my home state of Tennessee, and I had a certain fondness for the farmers in the state of Iowa because I was about to run for president."
Unabashed by being a pandering political hack who was wrong about corn ethanol ten years ago, Gore is certain that he knows what the proper policy is this time: subsidies for cellulosic ethanol.
See my column in which I agree with the Friends of the Earth that ethanol subsidies must die.