If he’s changed his mind about ethanol, what will he say next?
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The point is not that Gore is entirely wrong. It’s that he is wrong enough (remember the errors in An Inconvenient Truth) to merit skepticism. But law doesn’t take skeptics’ views into account. Environmental regulations compel compliance. Only in the market does the skepticism of the minority become an important player. If Al Gore bases his personal financial investments on faulty science, it matters to no one but Al Gore, and perhaps his wife. But if states base environmental regulations on faulty science he pushed, we are all harmed.
The great ethanol error would’ve been corrected quickly had the market been left in control. It was only the misguided hand of government that grew this problem to global proportions, and perpetuates it still.
This fall the EPA approved a waiver allowing gasoline to contain up to 15 percent ethanol for cars made since 2007. Congress has mandated that 13.95 billion gallons of renewable fuels (mostly ethanol) be produced in 2011, up from 12.95 billion gallons this year. (Can you imagine how much worse it would be had Gore been president?)
The bottom line is this: If we cannot base our environmental policies on the pronouncements of Al Gore, should we really be passing costly, far-reaching mandates that force people to behave as Al Gore would want them to? Wouldn’t it be better to let the market decide, and leave Al Gore to investing heavily in biofuel companies?
Andrew Cline is editorial page editor of the New Hampshire Union Leader. His Twitter ID is Drewhampshire.
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