Sunday, January 8, 2012

Brazilian ethanol finally allowed into the US

American ethanol uses to much energy to produce it is probably no greener than petrol. Not only that but it displaces food production pushing up food prices. Alternatively, it requires using land that could be used to grow trees. American ethanol production uses billions in subsidies. Funds that could be used for health or education or transport or the environment or lower taxes for businesses and workers. Anything. I came to the conclusion some time ago that it only exists because of the power of the corn lobby. On the few occasions that I fill up a car in the US, I deliberately avoid the mixed petrol-ethanol on offer. I reckon it is probably less green than pure petrol.

Brazilian ethanol takes less energy to produce (even including transport), uses less land per litre to produce, is cheaper and more efficient. Finally, in the current climate of cut-backs, it can't be justified not to allow it to compete with the US variety. It should result in a large reduction of ethanol being produced in the US. Brazil's economy should grow faster lifting more people out of poverty and the American consumer can have cheaper and greener fuel for their cars. The subsidies should go, the land used for food or forest. The world will be a greener place. And, I can fill up cars with ethanol. Oh, but the small vested interests of the corn-lobby in the US which produces inefficient American ethanol due to the utterly crazy subsidy scheme will lose out. All thanks to the fact that Brazilian ethanol is finally allowed into the US.

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