Sure ethanol has only about half the energy content as refined petroleum, and sure, diverting 40% of a basic food staple to produce it causes food prices to skyrocket ( about 8%/year depending on what it is) and taking money away from people to subsidize this leaves people with even less money to spend on increasingly expensive groceries, but if it keeps a politician in office, it's worth it, no?
* U.S. ethanol consumes about 40 pct corn crop
* Impact on food prices "real"
U.S. blending tax breaks for ethanol make it profitable for refiners to use the fuel even when it is more expensive than gasoline. The credits are up for renewal on Dec. 31.
Total U.S. ethanol subsidies reached $7.7 billion last year according to the International Energy Industry, which said biofuels worldwide received more subsidies than any other form of renewable energy.
"It is not a good policy to have these massive subsidies for (U.S.) first generation ethanol," said Gore, speaking at a green energy business conference in Athens sponsored by Marfin Popular Bank.