Al Gore, a former proponent of subsidies for corn-based ethanol, is now saying it was a bad idea. Oops!
Former U.S. vice-president Al Gore said support for corn-based ethanol in the United States was “not a good policy”, weeks before tax credits are up for renewal.U.S. blending tax breaks for ethanol make it profitable for refiners to use the fuel even when it is more expensive than gasoline. The credits are up for renewal on Dec. 31.
Total U.S. ethanol subsidies reached $7.7 billion last year according to the International Energy Industry, which said biofuels worldwide received more subsidies than any other form of renewable energy.
“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.
If it’s such a bad policy, (and it is) why did he push so hard for it in the first place? Glad you asked! He wanted to be president some day!
“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 that nice? Thanks, Al!
Now he’s pushing “second generation” ethanol products that won’t compete deplete our food supplies. Lo and behold, Al Gore is a major investor in second generation ethanol.What a coincidence!
If we turn to the investment portfolio of the venture capital firm of Kleiner Perkins Caulfield and Byers (KPCB) where Al Gore is a partner, we find that KPCB has invested in Mascoma Corporation, whose business is cellulosic ethanol. Here’s how KPCB’s web site describes Mascoma,
Leading in the development of bio and process technology for cost-effective production of cellulosic ethanol, an inexpensive and source of renewable energy. Cambridge, MA
In 2008, Mascoma received $61 million in financing from a group that included KPCB. In 2006, KPCB was part of a $30 million financing package for Mascoma.
And who knows what other cellulosic ethanol ventures KPCB and Gore have going?
How many more times will this man be discredited before people stop taking him seriously?