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Supporters of the EPA's decision yesterday to approve ethanol blended up to 15 percent in gasoline – and to be used in model year 2007 and newer cars – were the first out of the gate with statements of approval. Today we get the backlash.

Many of our readers aren't big fans of ethanol. But it made sense to a lot of people when the biofuel was actually cheaper than gasoline. Times have changed, and several fuel retailers in Missouri have stopped blending ethanol with gasoline because it's cheaper to use straight gasoline now and the blends are not mandatory. Down in the Southern hemisphers, though, we discover that Brazil's ethanol industry is booming. This year, Brazil is selling 605,000 m3 of ethanol (equivalent to 156 million g

Photo by Marxchivist. Licensed under Creative Commons license 2.0.

85 liters of ethanol per each tonne (metric) of sugarcane harvested. This is the output of a standard sugarcane ethanol plant. As we know, 45 percent of Brazilian fuel needs are covered by ethanol. Of course, what once was thought as the easy solution to replace fossil fuels is now being blamed for a dramatic rise in food prices (or not), by as much as 86 percent. However, we found an article that states that only one feedstock has maintained prices since 2006: sugarcane.

Fourth of July equals fireworks, parades and, if the Brazilian sugarcane growers - represented by UNICA, the Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association - get their way, a reduced or eliminated ethanol import tariff. UNICA is calling on the U.S. Congress to eliminate the 54-cent tariff on each imported gallon of ethanol. Doing so, they argue, would reduce the cost of using cars for U.S. drivers as UNICA's "Are We There Yet?" campaign will try to prove. After all, UNICA says, the ethanol tariff is a