Another item on the agenda of the current lame duck session are ethanol subsidies, set to expire on Dec 31st should Congress take no further action. The subsidies have brought together a group of strange bedfellows; among them are fiscal conservative Senators Jim De Mint and Tom Coburn, and organizations such as Oxfam and the Sierra Club. Meanwhile, Al Gore, our all-time-favorite proponent of global warming hysteria, has reversed his earlier support for ethanol, stating:
It is not a good policy to have these massive subsidies for first-generation ethanol. The benefits of ethanol are “trivial…
Al Gore does not leave us wondering about how this change of opinion came about, either. He openly admits that his aspirations for the presidency in 2000 were the main reason he supported ethanol subsidies in the first place:
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.
This change of heart comes about as more and more environmental groups recognize what economists and ecologists have stated for years. Ethanol fuel is bad for the environment. It increases air and water pollution, and ironically, greenhouse gas emissions. It also leads to higher food prices which is especially devastating for poor people.
With that line-up of support, you’d think Congress would listen.