North Andover, MA
|reply to stomp357 |
Re: Dont Expect Change
Well, that's actually some industry FUD. Brazil creates surplus ethanol, and uses the output to power the refineries that create more. We just haven't reached an economies of infrastructure yet. Also they use sugar cane, as opposed to corn.
The real danger to corn based ethanol production is the type of corn that is best suited to production, doesn't produce a feed stock waste (which can be used to feed livestock) and depletes the top soil so that it can not be reused indefinitely. Hopefully the pipeline technologies (the one that can make ethanol out of plain grass for instance) will become useable.
Brazilian ethanol production is almost entirely government-underwritten; also, most of it is from sugar beets (and thus helps prop up sugar prices; Brazil is also a major source of such beets). While the US is also a sugar producer (from both sugar beets and cane), we grow *far* more corn and other grains (hence the use of grain in the US for ethanol production). Without the diversion of corn for ethanol, at-the-silo corn prices (especially for human consumption) have been at historic lows; farmers had actually been paid *not* to grow corn!
Actually, the United States is the specific reason why Brazil even *has* an ethanol industry; we pretty much killed the export market for Brazilian sugar stock (from both cane and beets) via our own trade policies (heavily weighted to favor both domestic production and Caribbean sources; NAFTA/CAFTA certainly didn't help matters any). With the largest export market for sugar stock closed off, what was Brazil to do?