Posted By RichC on March 9, 2007
President Bush in his 6 day visit to South America met with Brazilian President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva today and toured a bio-fuel plant that produces clean ethanol fuel from sugar cane. The visit is not without its critics, some political and some concerned that expanding biofuels will risk turning rain forests into sugar plantations. Here at home the same concern is being express from users of corn. (corn prices have risen sharply as ethanol demand grows)
The meeting between the two presidents came as US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim signed a deal making ethanol an internationally traded commodity and promoting its production in Central America and the Caribbean. The goal is to “pool the experience and technology of the two countries, who are the world’s biggest producers of ethanol.” President Bush for his part commented, “we come to celebrate a strategic partnership between the United States and Brazil. We see the bright and real potential for our citizens being able to use alternative sources of energy that will promote the common good.” Both leader agree that increasing bio-fuel use will lead to more jobs, a cleaner environment and less dependence on oil. Combined, Brazil and the US produces about 70% of the world’s ethanol, a bio-fuel made from sugar cane or corn. (BBC)
EDIT: I’m including an On The Record segment highlighting ethanol and the President’s trip to South America. The program’s host, Greta Van Susteren, comments on today’s meeting in Brazil and will have a one on one opportunity with President Bush tomorrow. I’m looking forward to Greta’s opportunity to talk with the President since I’ve had the opportunity to exchange emails over the past year. Hopefully she’ll get a chance to mention biodiesel … my prodding.