November 27, 2010

Break out the Pop Corn: Al Gore Revisits his Support of Corn-for-Ethanol Subsidies

Monique Chartier

Al Gore has let the cat out of the bag. On Wednesday, addressing a green energy business conference in Greece (undoubtedly, a non-greenhouse gas emitting tall ship carried the advocate of AGW there from the US), the former VP admitted that the net energy produced from corn grown for ethanol is

at best very small

and, accordingly, corn for ethanol is not a wise use of taxpayer subsidies.

He also 'fessed up to what anyone with half a brain knew about elected officials and candidates who vote for or support tax subsidies for corn - that he used his office to facilitate the flow of tax dollars to fields in Iowa and elsewhere so as to harvest votes, not corn or green energy.

Thanks, Al! Now can we please allow those corn subsidies to expire? Tax payers have no obligation to fund either the garnering of votes or the expensive delusion that corn ethanol is a viable clean energy source.

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I'm hoping that someone will one day do a study of the correlation between the role of Iowa in the presidential nomination process (it came to the forefront during the Carter campaign in 1976) and the increase in obesity rates.

All those corn subsidies, all that high-fructose corn syrup, dontcha know.

Posted by: brassband at November 27, 2010 7:31 PM

That's a real stretch. You'll find a much higher correlation between videogames, web surfing, and cable television and obesity rates.

Kids who don't play outside barely get above their basal metabolic rate. And all that sitting is boring, so they eat to keep themselves busy. A real vicious circle.

Posted by: BobN at November 27, 2010 9:08 PM

If MSNBC is right, Al's corn woo'in of Iowa and TN farm voters has resulted in 41% of the US corn crop - 15% of the world crop - being diverted into our gas tanks so we can get lousier mileage.

As a bonus, it is a net energy loss to even produce the stuff - farming corn takes quite a bit of oil. Just like ol' Al, it's a loser.

Posted by: chuckR at November 27, 2010 10:55 PM

Only people from manufacturing states would believe that food is reularly produced in surplus. While surpluses sometimes happen, supply and demand tends to equalize production and consumption. It has become a commonplace of American agriculture that subsidies do skew supply and demand.

Still, the idea of burning food for fuel is ludicrous. As I recall, corn prices were forced so high that poor Mexicans could no longer afford tortillias. I gues that is just a "matter of priorities".

Posted by: Warrington Faust at November 28, 2010 11:06 AM