Brazil's Flex-Fuel Cars an Energy Winner
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David A. Harris
Executive Director, American Jewish Committee
Week of July 7, 2008
On Sunday, an OPEC leader said: Forget about lower oil prices. Global demand is too high.
What can we do?
For one thing, learn from other countries.
Brazil was dependent on Middle East oil. No longer.
What happened? Brazil began a national program for energy independence. It succeeded.
One key is “flex-fuel” cars. They use pure gas, pure ethanol, or a blend.
Today, most vehicles sold in Brazil are flex-fuel.
And the ethanol comes from sugar cane, not corn.
Sugar yields far more fuel than corn. But sugar-based ethanol isn’t sold here. High tariffs stop it from coming in. That’s absurd.
In an interview, a Brazilian taxi driver said: “Gasoline is my last option.” He has a flex-fuel Chevrolet, which he also adapted to use natural gas.
America, we, too, can meet the energy challenge.
We’ll help our economy, environment, and national security.
This is David Harris of the American Jewish Committee.