Al Gore: Ethanol Was Not a Good Policy

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Former Vice President Al Gore has reversed his position on ethanol, saying that taxpayer support for corn-based fuel was not a good policy.

Gore spoke at a green energy business conference in Athens, Greece sponsored by Marfin Popular Bank. He said tax breaks for first-generation alternative fuels like corn ethanol didn't work because they didn't produce much energy.

"It is not a good policy to have these massive subsidies for (U.S.) first generation ethanol," Gore said during the conference.

"First generation ethanol, I think, was a mistake," he added. "The energy conversion ratios are at best very small. It's hard once such a program is put in place to deal with the lobbies that keep it going."

Reuters reports that Gore now supports second generation technologies, which use farm waste or non-food sources like switchgrass to make ethanol.

"I do think second and third generation that don't compete with food prices will play an increasing role, certainly with aviation fuels," he said.

Gore added that he doesn't expect to see a clean energy or climate bill for at least two years.

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