Wednesday, June 14, 2006

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As wary as I am of the US ethanol movement, I am impressed that Brazil had the foresight to get into ethanol thirty years ago so that they would be on the path to energy self-sufficiency today.

[ About three decades ago, Brazil decided to use its overabundance of sugarcane to decrease its overdependence on foreign oil. It created an industry of sugarcane-based ethanol, a grain alcohol fuel. That effort kicked into high gear a few years ago, when "flex-fuel" vehicles that can run on up to 100 percent sugarcane ethanol reached a critical mass in Brazil. The alternative to gasoline took off.

Now, the fifth largest country in the world is producing enough home-grown sugarcane-based ethanol to equal 300,000 barrels of oil per day. Ethanol currently supplies half of the fuel needs of Brazilian vehicles, and the government is expected to announce energy self-sufficiency within a year. ]
-- Barry Levine,

Nice to see a country thinking ahead. Perhaps we'll catch up in thirty years too. Maybe we'll even have fuel efficiency standards close to those of China.

Sweet Energy Deal


  1. I love ethanol. All the horsepower (and then some) and none of the guilt. It's like the fat free ice cream episode of Seinfeld.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6/15/2006 11:57:00 AM

  2. Guilt-level should vary with where your ethanol comes from and how it is produced. It is a zero net carbon fuel, but big companies, like ADM, manipulate the system to get government subsidies, instead of the farmers that really need them.

    Also, some large "farms" are essentially factories that dump huge quantities of chemicals on their GMO crops (much more than if they were for human consumption), which cuts into the environmental benefit the fuel offers.

    If I got my ethanol from local farms, then I'd consider it truly guilt-free. But until then, I remain wary of the movement and the forces behind the scenes.

    By Blogger Sumocat, at 6/15/2006 06:29:00 PM

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