At a green business conference on Monday, Al Gore admitted that his support for corn ethanol subsidies was a mistake. This news comes weeks before tax credits are up for renewal.
U.S. tax breaks for ethanol make it profitable for refiners to use the fuel even when it is more expensive than gasoline. Total ethanol subsidies reached $7.7 billion last year according to the International Energy Agency. In fact, biofuels worldwide received more subsidies than any other form of renewable energy.
Gore argued that “It is not a good policy to have these massive subsidies for [U.S.] first-generation ethanol”. Giving extraordinary subsidies to first generation feedstocks was a mistake, he says. “The energy conversion ratios are at best very small.”