Planet Gore

Al Gore Admits Playing Politics in Supporting Corn Ethanol


In a mea culpa of sorts, former Vice President Al Gore on Monday said he made a mistake in supporting corn-based ethanol while he was in office, admitting he was more interested in farm votes for his presidential run than what was best for the environment.

Like most politicians in the late 1990s, Gore supported huge subsidies for ethanol made from corn — a decision that was later blamed for higher food prices.

Total U.S. ethanol subsidies reached $7.7 billion last year, according to the International Energy Industry, and many of those tax credits will soon be up for renewal.

“It is not a good policy to have these massive subsidies for first generation ethanol,” said Gore, speaking at a green energy business conference in Athens, Greece. First generation ethanol refers to the most basic, but also most energy intensive, process of converting corn to ethanol for use in vehicle engines.

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