Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Should the US Follow Brazil's Model for Ethanol Success?

Also on the ethanol front, a story from today's St. Louis Post-Dispatch highlights Brazil's success at making ethanol a major fuel for motorists and wonders if the United States couldn't learn a thing or two from our neighbors south of the border. The political class is starting to wake up to possibilities, and, as I've reported before, Sen. Barak Obama of Illinois has introduced an amendment to the pending highway bill that "would give filling station operators credits of up to $30,000 for installing pumps with the 85 percent ethanol blend." Other suggestions include asking automakers to let buyers know that their cars would run on ethanol blends... Still, ethanol is controversial:
Environmentalists have mixed opinions about ethanol to begin with, noting studies showing that it can worsen smog (while cutting down on carbon monoxide pollution). But Becker said his organization is especially concerned because the E85 credit has enabled automakers to build more gas-guzzling vehicles and fewer that are efficient when burning gasoline.

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