March 13, 2007

SOUTH POLE:

Bush and Lula: biofuel buddies (Seattle Times, 3/13/07)

Despite a rather combustible visit to Latin America, President Bush and his Brazilian counterpart might well have ignited an important partnership to cut fossil-fuel emissions that contribute to global warming.

Bush launched his five-day trip in Brazil, which has a seasoned, veteran economy of biofuels development and its commercial distribution. Bush and President Luiz InĂ¡cio Lula da Silva signed an agreement to work together to push for more research on manufacturing ethanol from different materials, developing industrial standards and encouraging more Latin American biofuels production. It's an important initiative for Bush, who acknowledged "global climate change" for the first time in his State of the Union address. His stated goal is to increase fivefold the supply target of alternative fuels by 2017. Lula is hopeful the U.S. will reduce its tariffs on imported biofuels. Brazil makes most of its ethanol from sugar cane, which is proving to be a more-efficient method than the corn-based ethanol that has gained traction in the United States.

The key will be in developing the accord in a way that embraces opportunity in an economically sustainable way. The two presidents will meet again March 31 at Camp David to further flesh out the partnership.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 13, 2007 7:22 AM
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