Last week, U.S. Undersecretary of State R. Nicholas Burns visited Brazil for meetings to figure out what the new "energy partnership" between the two countries would look like. Brazil and the U.S. are already the world's two largest ethanol producers, and the partnership looks to cement that leadership. Burns told the Washington Post, "It's clearly in our interests - Brazil's and the United States's - that we expand the global market for biofuels, particularly ethanol, and that it become a global commodity of sorts." The idea that it will offset the power that oil-rich Venezuela has in the region is also attractive to the U.S.

The WaPo says a deal is expected sometime within a year that encourages Latin American countries to make and use more biofuel. The U.S. and Brazil would also share more biofuel technology under the plan. Uruguay's MercoPress reported that the deal is expected as early as March, when U.S. President Bush visits Brazil. Burns' discussion topics with Brazilian officials included ethanol standards and building a joint ethanol plant in the Caribbean.

[Source: MercoPress, Washington Post via Cindy Zimmerman / Domestic Fuel]

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