At Long Last, Al Gore Thinks Ethanol Subsidies Are a Bad Idea

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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.

NEXT: Reason.tv: Richard Epstein on Barack Obama, his former Chicago Law Colleague

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  1. Did you feed the hamsters that run your servers too much Four Loko?

    1. More signs of Atlas Shrugged coming to like: the squirrels are on strike!

    2. Ron’s a notorious drunk. He probably drank the Four Loko himself and beat the hamsters mercilessly.

      When did you stop beating your hamsters, Ron?

      1. Ron’s a notorious drunk.

        Stop saying that like it’s a bad thing, you Goombah coke fiend. Anyway, as I’ve already pointed out, the whole magazine is run by the drunken Micks.

        He’s honest enough here to demand that they stop using his booze for cars, what more do you want?

  2. I had a certain fondness for the farmers in the state of Iowa because I was about to run for president.

    Barf. Just like when prosecutors & police chiefs decide as soon as they’re out of office that the WOD might be a dumb idea. Now that you’re no longer pandering for votes and unable to effect any change, you want a fucking medal for identifying the obvious? Day late, dollar short.

    1. Now that being appointed Supreme Leader of Climate Change Priesthood will no longer make him the ruler of GWB, he’s trying to right his legacy.

      1. *checks my Mau’dib’s Manual of Messiahdom *

        Looks like you have to kill at LEAST 2 fremen to pull-off what Gore is attempting.

        1. +10 for Dune reference.

    2. Very similar to what I heard the MD State Comptroller say on the radio this morning: “I was a partisan democrat for 22 years in the legislature, shouting down any republican proposal to control spending, but now that I’m the comptroller, I can see that we really need to get our spending under control.” (I kid you not, that’s almost verbatim.)

      It was all I could do to not crawl through the radio and strangle that scumsucking partisan fuckstain. No wonder he went for a title with “troll” in it.

  3. 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.”

    “I am certainly not one to take the concept of ‘expediency’ out of MY dictionary, or am I?”

  4. I guess the question is how much subsidies for ethanol he’s proposing?

    A couple million or even hundred million for reseach etc? Or the billions and billions that corn ethanol got.

    I’m ok with flushing a bit of money for R&D.

    1. Try $0.51/gal of ethanol blended in gasoline.

      1. I would NOT be ok with that for cellosic (or any type of ethanol)

        Or really any other type of energy for that matter.

    2. Kroneborge: It’s currently $1.01 per gallon for cellulosic ethanol.

  5. Unabashed by being pandering political hack who was wrong about corn ethanol ten years ago, Gore is certain now that he knows what the proper policy is this time: subsidies for cellulosic ethanol.

    No idea what the second part of this sentance means…are you saying Gore currently supports ethanol? Didn’t he just say he was Wrong to support it?

    Anyway the first part does not seem supported. Admiting you were wrong then correcting yourself is not being a hack.

    1. “Admiting you were wrong then correcting yourself is not being a hack.”

      Admitting you were pandering makes you a hack.

      1. Admitting you were pandering makes you a hack.

        Huh?

        I think you wrote the exact opposite of what you meant to say.

        1. No, it means that he’s admitting that he was a hack then. Admitting it or not doesn’t change that he was a hack. I suppose it’s nice that he admits it now.

          He was a hack when he supported ethanol, that was always fairly obvious.

    2. Gore decided he was wrong to support CORN ethanol, but CELLOSIC ethanol is a WHOLE NOTHER STORY (and the story is in ALL-CAPS.)

      1. Gore decided he was wrong to support CORN ethanol, but CELLOSIC ethanol is a WHOLE NOTHER STORY (and the story is in ALL-CAPS.)

        Yeah I suspected as much…but Ron provided no link or quote or back story to what the fuck he was talking about.

        If this is true then it would make him a hack. “Corn ethanol subsidies bad but other ethanol subsidies are good” is pure hackdom.

        1. jc: With due respect, I did provide right up front a link to the Reuters story where Gore’s continuing support for OTHER kinds of ethanol is spelled out.

          1. Ok…you got me I am a lazy web surfer.

            I saw the quote you provided and assumed I would not need to go to the link. My bad.

    3. jc: Gore supports “second and third generation” ethanol. So yes he still supports subsidies to ethanol. What sevo said with regard to “pandering hack.”

      1. I think there might be some confusion as to the meaning of the word “hack”.

        Voting in 1994 like he did probably was the work of a hack.

        Admitting to it is the exact opposite of being a hack.

        Also supporting one subsidy for ethanol while dismissing another is being a hack.

        I think being hack has to involve intentional dishonesty to cover your own bias. If you admit your bias and how it lead you to a specific opinion it is not being a hack.

        1. jc: The definition I had in mind is for a political hack: a person who is part of the political party apparatus, but whose intentions are more aligned with victory than personal conviction

    4. 10 years ago he was supporting malt ethanol. It was always clear that the business case or conservation case for that never penciled out. Gore supported it for Iowa. That’s why he’s a hack.

      Now he is supporting making ethanol from husks instead of malt. Unfortunately ground unicorn horn is the other ingredient in that reaction.

    5. Gore is a fucking hack. He was a hack then, he’s a hack now. He’s feigning contrition so he can talk up his latest investment venture and hope no one will notice. Oops. They did. Check the links in the update to this article.

      And no, they aren’t links to crazed sex poodle iguana fucking, either.

      1. I thought he was a crazed sex poodle.

        -jcr

  6. Market signals much?

    Only 10 years to figure out what he could have learned in 10 seconds by checking prices at a grocery store and gas station: the price of a gallon of gas vs a couple shopping carts full of corn.

    10 years of burning food as a fuel. That’s some real good Nobel material there.

    With as many fucktards like him in charge, its a miracle the entire planet isn’t starving to death.

    1. Has the Nobel peace prize ever been taken back? Seems if Reggie Bush can lose his Heisman over something unrelated to his actual achievements, Gore should have his prize taken back once it’s proven conclusively that he’s full of crap.

      Gore and Obama. I bet other winners of the prize love having their accomplishments lumped in with that crowd.

      1. I think being in the same club with Yasser Arafat, UNHCR, and UN Peacekeeping Forces would embarrass anybody, but that’s just me.

        1. You’d think the assholes who vote on the prize would be ashamed. Have you read or heard about the people they passed over to give it to Gore, Obama etc…. In one case it was a lady who saved Jewish babies by smuggling them to safety in her work bag.

          1. Why was she doing that in 2009?

            1. They…they weren’t safe.

          2. That probably was not a point in her favor with the present committee.

    2. “10 years of burning food as a fuel.”

      My Amish neighbors burn food as fuel all the time for plowing and hauling. (Kerosene and/or white gas can be used in lamps.)

      I don’t mean humans could actually eat horse hay, though we can eat the oats that give horses a “high-octane” boost. It’s just that raising transportation fuel diverts land that could otherwise be used to grow human food.

      Switchgrass, bagasse from sugar cane processing, other crop wastes, and sawmill waste can all be used as feedstock for cellusosic ethanol without impinging on food crop acreage. Even so, they won’t suffice, and if we try to meet all demands for transportation fuel with biological sources, competition with food acreage will send prices on both kinds of commodities way up.

      1. Do your Amish neighbors burn food that is more expensive, BTU to BTU (or however the fuck you measure energy), than other readily available, kosher fuels?

        No, they don’t. Because they’re not complete and total morons.

  7. Irresponsible Hater|11.22.10 @ 4:34PM|#

    Wierd….my comment form auto filled that same name “Irresponsible Hater”

    Are the reason squirrels playing a game on us? Or has Reason been hacked?

    1. When you get down to it, aren’t we all irresponsible haters?

      FWIW, I got a bunch of server errors when I posted that comment.

  8. 1 merit for clever phrasing, 665 for being Al Gore.

    Not sure what the complaint is about the servers, but I noticed ‘Leave a Comment’ auto-filled my name with another person’s ID, instead of simple ‘alan’. That was weird.

    1. Which name?

      1. I didn’t want to spook anybody, but yours with the e-mail address filled out.

        1. Weird…i thought all that stuff was kept on my computer.

          Why would you write the code to come back to the server then back to the person’s computer?

          It is not as if my IP or the name and email i use is a secret to them and not easily accessed in their logs

          Seems to me The Reason squirrels wrote a very inefficient cookie and apparently it has a bug.

  9. Unabashed by being (a?) pandering political hack who was

    I think you need an “a” between being and pandering.

    1. You mistook Reason for an organization who’s interns actually DO the proofreading they’ve been assigned…

      1. You mistook Reason for an organization who’s interns actually DO the proofreading they’ve been assigned…

        I always thought proofreading was our job…

        1. I always thought proofreading was our job…

          I really can’t fault you for that assumption.

  10. My guess is Algore has extensive investments in Switch-Grass Arabia startups. Funny that it was Dubya who – if I remember right – was the cellulosic ethyltard in some state-of-the-union way back when.

    Also, as the fad of AGW is marginalized to the hardcore fruits and nuts, Algore now has to follow the crowd that used to follow him. And they hate ethanol. Frankly, they hate anything that has Red State subsidies involved no matter the environmental factors, its a culture war and Algore has to be where the culture war is going, which ain’t middle America and ethanol.

  11. Tangentially related:

    Study: Lower carbon emissions linked to recession

    Woohoo! Let’s keep this recession going strong and save the Earth.

  12. Okay, Ron-

    The net energy gain from producing corn ethanol is more likely than not zero, as far as I can tell. How can “cellulosic” be any better?

    (I’m not accusing you of saying it is, but what arguments do Gore, et al, make?)

    If anything we should immediately drop all tariffs and any other impediments to importation of sugar cane ethanol. Maybe somebody in Haiti could actually make some money, for a change.

    1. P Brooks: As I wrote in my article, The Bioethanol Binge, about my visit to a South Dakota ethanol plant: Although this is probably a pipe dream, all energy subsidies should be ended and the market allowed to determine which fuels win.

      1. all energy subsidies should be ended and the market allowed to determine which fuels win.

        Blasphemer! Heretic! Allowing people to make their own choices will lead to a scorched Earth! No polar bears! Externalities! Cats and dogs having sex together! No, we can’t allow this! We can’t! Mommy!!!!

        1. You left out “Anarchy”, “Somalia”, and DEM ROADS.

      2. There were a couple guys I read about in Wired who were claiming that they’d be able to produce cellulosic ethanol for about $1 a gallon. I guess the tech was trickier than they imagined. They’re probably on their way to Gore right now with their mooching sack.

        Also, from the Reuters article: “It’s hard once such a programme is put in place to deal with the lobbies that keep it going.”

        Is Al Gore Canadian, or does he just speak it?

  13. We could make corn-based ethanol profitable, with no subsidies, if’n it weren’t for the revenoooors.

  14. Not sure what the complaint is about the servers, but I noticed ‘Leave a Comment’ auto-filled my name with another person’s ID, instead of simple ‘alan’. That was weird.

    Don’t worry; that’s just a byproduct of the NSA capturing the names and IP addresses of anybody who posts derogatory comments about the TSA.

    If you haven’t done anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about.

    1. Oh, in that case, whew. Nothing to worry about. Are you kidding! The things I admit to on this forum alone could get me in Leavenworth a good stretch.

  15. I love corn. I hate Gore. I kinda like Earth.

    1. I kinda like Earth.

      I would rather live on Pandora. Hotter chicks.

      1. Isn’t that the place with the blue space elves? I find them to be aesthetically repulsive. Even if the movie was libertarian themed I doubt if I could sit through it and endure those eyesore stretched out taffy shaped smurfs for a full two hours.

        1. Really?

          But what about the tail sex?

          1. Please, the gratuitous apostrophe in their name people of Pandora have nothing on the chameleon tailed reptile people from the center of the earth who can at least shape change into blonds (conspiracy theorist tell us that blond people are merely reptilian shape shifters who have lost their ability to shift back, and that is where they get their goblin like eyes).

    2. Re: Chortle,

      I love corn.

      What people call “corn,” my people called “maize.”

      1. Corn it is then…

  16. First generation ethanol? Does Gore think energy is like software development? Ethanol 2.0? Ethanol release 2.1.1 bug fix. Do I get a free iPhone if I sign a 2 year contract for Ethanol 4G?

  17. Ron, has anyone notified the EPA that our Environmental Leader is no longer advocating corn ethanol subsidies?

  18. Wow, the comments thread went this long, and no one pointed out to Ron and everyone else that the Goracle is heavily invested/leveraged into the “new and improved, wait there’s even MORE” alternative he’s pushing?

    Check the links provided at the update to this post at Hot Air

    Yep, it’s all about the Al. But cut him some slack – he’s gotta give Tipper some alimony scratch AND pay hookers for those chakra releases, folks!

    1. I just took it as a given that he’s making money off of whatever environmental sham-wows he’s selling.

      It’s kinda funny that his fans are always going on about how much they hate greedy capitalists.

    2. You could say he’s putting his money where his mouth is. Cellulosic ethanol is one of those ideas worth watching. I don’t know what the current cost of production is–Wikipedia says $2.25 per gallon in 2006, but that’s a long time ago in this field. It certainly is preferable to corn ethanol.

  19. So, Al “Mr. Haney” Gore is peddling some new wares. You won’t be sorry Mr. Douglas! Gar-an-teed to work slicker’n hot snot on a doorknob!

  20. “Ethanol Al” Gore, crazed sex poodle.

  21. “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.”

    Isn’t refreshing when a lifelong politician inadvertently confesses that his only deeply-held conviction is acquiring more power?

  22. Fuck AlGore. I can’t wait for that piece of shit to die and return his carbon to the Earth.

    What a shit-stain.

  23. Al Gore – douche bag.

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