Ethanol tech as an instrument of foreign policy

Ethanol technology is going to be used as an instrument of foreign policy, if a plan outlined tantalisingly on EnergyGrid comes to fruition. The US and Brazil could use ethanol as a way to counterbalance the might of Venezuela. Chavez is clearly the new Castro.

But are they dancing on the streets of Sao Paulo at the news?

Er… not exactly.

I suspect that Henrique Oliveira in his Ethablog is close to the mood of many when he says:

Well, so the U.S. wants to partner up with Brazil, its good hemispheric buddy, to capitalize on Brazil’s 32 years of experience with ethanol and jumpstart its own biofuels industry.

And the American government can think of no better way to do that than by upholding the 54-cent-per-gallon tariff on Brazilian ethanol – which is, it should be noted, substantially higher than the zero-cent-per-gallon tariff on Saudi oil.

He’s got some interesting ideas about what could happen in the future if the Americans find that corn ethanol is unstainable in the long term…

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