• Mar 9th 2007 at 10:48AM
  • 3
Yahoo! News is using this image of anti-Bush protesters to illustrate their story of the President's visit to Brazil and the impending ethanol deal between that country and the U.S. So it's not just on AutoblogGreen that there's contention over the Decider's policies. But we all knew that already.
Bush is currently visiting South America, and on his stop in Brazil, the ethanol-partnership that we've heard about before is about to be signed. In February, the deal for the "energy partnership" was the the two countries would share biofuel technologies. U.S. Undersecretary of State R. Nicholas Burns visited Brazil in early February to pave the way for Bush's visit, and discussed ethanol standards and building a joint ethanol plant in the Caribbean with Brazilian officials.

Today, the news out of Sao Paolo is that the $8 billion ethanol agreement is officially a go. Even though the 54-cent per gallon tariff that the United States imposes on Brazilian ethanol to subsidize American corn ethanol is not up for discussion, Bush said, the new deal doesn't please everyone back in America. Two Republican Senators, South Dakota Senator John Thune and Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, have both spoken out against the deal. The Renewable Fuels Association is saying yes to a global ethanol market, but no to "allowing Brazil to benefit from the U.S. tax credit for ethanol," according to Domestic Fuel.

Demonstrators in Brazil spoke out against the agreement because "increased ethanol production could lead to social unrest because most operations are run by wealthy families or corporations that reap the profits, while the poor are left to cut the cane with machetes."

The other side of the story is that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, and his piles of oil money, is also touring South America to build support for his anti-Bush, more socialist vision.

The AP (on Yahoo!) says the protesters in Brazil are worried that the new agreement could lead to "an OPEC-like cartel on ethanol." Very few people waved at Bush's motorcade as it rolled through Sao Paolo, the AP said.

So who's for this deal?

[Source: Yahoo! News]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      "an OPEC-like cartel on ethanol."

      How would an ethanol cartel even be possible? And who in their right minds would want one if it were possible? Boggles the mind.

      Although given the general level of ignorance about ethanol, I suppose I shouldn't be all that surprised at what other things people believe.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I think that in a free market economy like ours, everybody should be required to take Economics 101, 102, 201, 202. That way, everybody would understand why a free market economy always produces the highest standard of living and opportunity. But then it wouldn't be a free market economy because in a free market economy, people are allowed the freedom of ignorance of economic issues-even people who have the opportunity to influence many.

      Hugo Chavez and Evo Morales are driving their economies off a cliff by stealing companies and resources from those who could actually take them and produce economic benefits for everybody involved. The government is not the answer to economic problems, the free market and profit opportunity are. For examples of how government power over the peoples will and the lack of Rule of Law create havoc in an economy look no further than Cuba, Nicauragua, Bolivia, Venezuala, Russia and East Germany before the fall and most of the Middle Eastern countries. You WANT free markets, free flow of ideas, information, capital and opportunity. It's no accident that we have the best standard of living in the world.

      Venequala and Bolivia are some of the most recent examples of Socialism. Chavez and Morales steal in the name of the "people". But just watch, in 5 years they will be worse off. That's because without the Rule of Law, when governments can steal from the privates sector-in the name of "the people", nobody(except the politically connected) will invest. When nobody will invest, economies stagnate, living standards go down and the "people" in whose name Chavez and Morales are stealing get no benefits from that theft. In fact they go backwards because all their future employers run for the border with what little they can salvage and invest elsewhere. Socialism and government confiscation are about "Rule of Law" as much as anything else. If you have money, opportunity, ideas, or anything to offer, would you commit it in a country where Chavez or Morales could confiscate it if it became successful?

      Yes, I'm for a free ethanol market.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Hey, this must be that great "energy independence" thing that Bush has been talking about. Wait a second...
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