Brazil Is Zooming Ahead on Ethanol
by Weiner and George Clingan (Miami Herald) As the world watches the 2012 London Olympics, the United States ought to brace for a looming embarrassment at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Unless we act fast, everyone will see Brazilians spending one-third less per gallon and generating significantly cleaner air, while the United States and other nations remain locked in the stronghold of the OPEC oil cartels.
Brazil is getting rich on its energy independence — and buying up depressed Florida real estate with its deep coffers.
…Brazil’s newfound wealth, aided by its energy policy, has rocketed the country to Florida’s top trading partner. “Brazil is our China,” said Frank Nero, the head of Miami-Dade County’s economic development agency. Brazil is proving itself a world leader in environmental reform on several fronts, having reduced deforestation to a fifth of its peak in the 1990s.
Brazil is amassing fortunes by developing the most biofuel-based infrastructure in the world from sugarcane-based ethanol. It spends what is necessary to develop the infrastructure and offer tax incentives to encourage a nationwide eco-friendly economy. As a result, Brazil has decreased oil imports from more than 80 percent in the 1970s to essentially zero today (including its own domestic oil production).
Try to imagine an energy source that is abundant, carbon-neutral and cheaper for Miami-Dade County’s 1,012,724 cars and trucks and the 250 million in the United States, as well as heating and cooling the homes of our 313 million people.
… The challenge of the law’s stated standard is that we do not have enough ethanol-capable gas stations (now fewer than 1 percent are ready) or dedicated pipelines (we have none). The president campaigned to increase ethanol-capable cars. But we have not made the investments to allow this to occur. READ MORE