Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Al Gore - World Economic Forum Annual Meeting Davos 2005
Photo: World Economic Forum, Flickr, CC

Corn ethanol has turned out to be a bad idea -- there's little disagreement about that, especially in environmental circles. For starters, it's an incredibly inefficient fuel source, consuming tons of water to produce a modest amount of energy. And that's to say nothing of the unintended consequences promoting ethanol has had on deforestation and food production around the world. And yet, we continue to grant ethanol producers in the US a pretty hefty subsidy -- to the tune of $8 billion. Now, Al Gore, one of the early supporters of ethanol, says that he made a mistake in creating those subsides. Read more...

On the other hand, President Obama has not learned the lesson. He started out as a strong ethanol advocate in order to get support in the Iowa caucuses, he has ignored current thinking about second generation corn ethanol and is now doubling down on the effort in order to maintain support from the powerful interests of the agro-energy-industrial complex.

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