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Gore: ‘First-Generation Ethanol Was A Mistake’

It’s not often that politicians apologize for their actions without having to, but Al Gore voiced his regrets at a green energy business conference in Greece. From The Washington Post:

Former vice president Al Gore said Monday that he regrets supporting first-generation corn-based ethanol subsidies while he was in office.

Reuters reports that Gore said his support for corn-based ethanol subsidies was rooted more in his desire to cultivate farm votes for his presidential run in 2000 than in doing what was right for the environment:

“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.

Gore went on to say that “first-generation ethanol I think was a mistake. The energy conversion ratios are at best very small.” Gore now supports so-called second-generation technologies that do not compete with food — using farm waste or non-food sources such as switchgrass to make ethanol.

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