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Published February 01, 2011, 09:06 AM

Gore admits policy mistake

AUGUSTA, Ga. — If Dick Cheney had made a similar admission, it would eclipse all other news of the day. The “mainstream” media would be in a tizzy.

AUGUSTA, Ga. — If Dick Cheney had made a similar admission, it would eclipse all other news of the day. The “mainstream” media would be in a tizzy.

Former Vice President Al Gore now admits that growing corn for ethanol is a huge mistake.

“The energy conversion ratios are at best very small,” he told a “green” energy business conference in Greece. In other words, the process consumes about as much energy as it produces.

And in 2009, the U.S. spent about $7.7 billion in tax money subsidizing the process — which also drives up food prices: Ethanol eats up about 40 percent of the U.S. corn supply, about 15 percent of the world’s crop.

Consumption, prices

Ethanol’s consumption of that much corn “definitely has an impact on food prices,” Gore acknowledges.

“It is not a good policy to have these massive subsidies for first-generation ethanol,” he says.

It would be an interesting viewpoint coming from Mr. Environmentalist under any circumstances — but since he was the tie-breaking vote in the Senate in 1994 that mandated the use of ethanol, you might think it more enlightening.

Yet, you’ll really love his stated reason for having voted that way:

“One of the reasons I made that mistake is that I paid particular attention to the farmers in my home state of Tennessee, and I had a certain fondness for the farmers in the state of Iowa because I was about to run for president.”

So let’s get this straight: Gore foisted mandatory ethanol production on America — which he now admits was a mistake — because of his presidential ambitions. If he were a conservative Republican, that would be huge news.

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