Corn Commentary

Ethanol Misinformation on The Daily Show

Jon Stewart’s “The Daily Show” may not be a “real” news show, but the lighter side takes itself seriously enough to have big name political guests and do semi-serious interviews with them.

Such was the case this week when former Vice President Al Gore appeared on the show to promote his new book “Our Choice” about how we can solve the “climate crisis.” During the interview, Stewart said that making choices to help the environment can be confusing for people. “We were told ethanol was the answer, turns out that’s worse for the environment,” Stewart said. The former VP, who supported corn-based ethanol while in office, did little to defend the fuel in response to that statement. “Yeah, but the new forms of ethanol that they’re coming up with now actually are not bad for the environment and we can switch to the new kinds that will be much better,” Gore said.

Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Bob Dinneen says that short exchange highlights a disturbing trend in ethanol misinformation. “Failing to understand the issue and continuing to propagate factually inaccurate information, even on a faux news show, is dangerous and undermines the legitimate debate about our energy future,” said Dinneen. “This trend in statements by prominent and influential individuals is leaving the American people with a false set of choices about the various roles of renewable energy across the board.”

Dinneen extended “an open invitation for Mr. Gore to visit any of the nation’s ethanol facilities and to attend the industry’s annual conference next February in Orlando, Florida.” No response from the VP yet.