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Gore Admits He Was Wrong About Ethanol Subsidies: ‘Not Good Policy’

November 22, 2010

Former Vice President Al Gore is admitting that he was wrong about “first generation” ethanol subsidies, calling them “not good policy” and admitting his support of them were clouded by his presidential ambissions.

From Reuters:

“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.”

He explained his own support for the original programme on his presidential ambitions.

“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.”

Gore also said that rising food prices could be fueled by the ethanol craze. “The competition with food prices is real,” he said.

But Gore didn’t give up on a fuel subsidies altogether. Instead, he supports technology that extracts fuel from other things such as wood and grass. He called that process “second and third generation” ethanol, and supports it because he says it won’t compete with food.

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