Ethanol Comments Supply Evidence That Al Gore Will Never Again Run for Office

Michael Giberson

I suppose Al Gore is enjoying life and never expects to run for public office.  Clear evidence of this fact? His recent comments on ethanol:

“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 was candid about his reasons for supporting ethanol from Corn:

“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.”

But Gore is not willing to throw out the biofuel baby with the corn-sweetened bathwater:

Gore supported so-called second generation technologies which do not compete with food, for example cellulosic technologies which use chemicals or enzymes to extract sugar from fibre for example in wood, waste or grass.

“I do think second and third generation that don’t compete with food prices will play an increasing role, certainly with aviation fuels.”

I’m a less able than Mr. Gore to believe that high-value fuel crops will be grown in a way that doesn’t compete with food production, but if private-citizen Gore wants to invest his own money in technology investment I wish him all the luck.

(HT to Environmental Economics.)