Al Gore: I Was Wrong About Corn-Based Ethanol Corn-based fuel does little to help environment, he admits By Kevin Spak, Newser Staff Posted Nov 23, 2010 8:50 AM CST 51 comments Comments Former US Vice President and Nobel Peace Prize winner Al Gore speaks at a conference during the Innovate Tijuana festival in Tijuana, Mexico, Thursday Oct. 14, 2010. (AP Photo/Guillermo Arias) (Newser) – Al Gore regrets supporting subsidies for corn-based ethanol when he was in office, he revealed during a speech in Athens yesterday, confessing that he’d done it more to bolster his presidential ambitions than to help the planet. “First generation ethanol I think was a mistake,” Gore said, according to Reuters, arguing that “it is not good policy to have these massive subsidies.” “One of the reasons I made that mistake is that I paid particular attention to the farmers in my home state of Tennessee,” Gore admitted. “And I had a certain fondness for the farmers in Iowa, because I was about to run for president.” First generation ethanol, Gore explained, took too much energy to produce, and had a real impact on food prices. But he said he still supports second generation fuels based on farm waste, switchgrass, and other non-food sources.