The Brazil-ethanol scam

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Our friends at Investors Business Daily continue to publish one of the very best collections of editorial comment anywhere, and they demonstrate that here once again. Bill Clinton is shilling for California's Poposition 87 alternative energy boondoggle and using Brazil as an example of a country that achieved "energy independence" via ethanol. This is an outright lie, a villanous scam.

I always knew that the claims touted for Brazil being "independent of imported oil" because of ethanol were bogus, in part because I know how much land it takes to grow any crop in sufficient quantity to produce meaningful amopunts of ethanol and I know how much energy it requires to transport and process the crops into liquid energy products. I also knew that Brazil was achieving some success in offshore drilling.

To expect this degree of knowledge and intelligence from, say, the New York Times editorial board would be foolish. They are preoccupied with loftier concerns than such technical matters, such as the imagined injustices involving race, gender, and above all, sexuality, or the threat to democracy posed by President Bush.

IBD has gotten the actual data on Brazillian energy consumption. You should read the whole editorial, but here is the nut:

 Brazil did achieve independence from foreign oil all right. It happened this past April. But Clinton, true to form, doesn't quite recall the critical point showing how it was done.

Here's a clue for the semi—retired former president and policy wonk: Brazilian President Luiz Inacio "Lula" da Silva didn't celebrate the oil independence milestone out in an Amazon sugar field.

No, he smashed a champagne bottle on the spaceship—like deck of Brazil's vast P—50 oil rig in the Albacora Leste field in the deep blue Atlantic. Why? Brazil's oil independence had virtually nothing to do with its ethanol development. It came from drilling oil.

Hat tip: Jack Kemp

Thomas Lifson   10 28 06

Our friends at Investors Business Daily continue to publish one of the very best collections of editorial comment anywhere, and they demonstrate that here once again. Bill Clinton is shilling for California's Poposition 87 alternative energy boondoggle and using Brazil as an example of a country that achieved "energy independence" via ethanol. This is an outright lie, a villanous scam.

I always knew that the claims touted for Brazil being "independent of imported oil" because of ethanol were bogus, in part because I know how much land it takes to grow any crop in sufficient quantity to produce meaningful amopunts of ethanol and I know how much energy it requires to transport and process the crops into liquid energy products. I also knew that Brazil was achieving some success in offshore drilling.

To expect this degree of knowledge and intelligence from, say, the New York Times editorial board would be foolish. They are preoccupied with loftier concerns than such technical matters, such as the imagined injustices involving race, gender, and above all, sexuality, or the threat to democracy posed by President Bush.

IBD has gotten the actual data on Brazillian energy consumption. You should read the whole editorial, but here is the nut:

 Brazil did achieve independence from foreign oil all right. It happened this past April. But Clinton, true to form, doesn't quite recall the critical point showing how it was done.

Here's a clue for the semi—retired former president and policy wonk: Brazilian President Luiz Inacio "Lula" da Silva didn't celebrate the oil independence milestone out in an Amazon sugar field.

No, he smashed a champagne bottle on the spaceship—like deck of Brazil's vast P—50 oil rig in the Albacora Leste field in the deep blue Atlantic. Why? Brazil's oil independence had virtually nothing to do with its ethanol development. It came from drilling oil.

Hat tip: Jack Kemp

Thomas Lifson   10 28 06