AEI program examines ethanol, deepwater oil contributions in Brazil

"Energy Lessons from Brazil," a discussion of both its alternative energy program and its offshore oil development at the American Enterprise Institute, 1150 17th Street NW at noon on Jan. 28.

Jan. 28: "Energy Lessons from Brazil," a discussion of the contributions of both the South American nation's ambitious alternative energy program and its aggressive development of offshore oil and gas resources at the American Enterprise Institute, 1150 17th Street NW at noon. Researchers Roger Aliaga-Diaz, Joseph H. Davis, and Marc D. Weidenmier will present their recent National Bureau of Economic Research working paper, "Is Sugar Sweeter at the Pump? The Macroeconomic Impact of Brazil's Alternative Energy Program." For more information or to register, contact Abigail Haddad at AEI by telephone at (202) 862-7165 or by e-mail at

Why it matters: Proponents of greater reliance on ethanol for a US fuel say that Brazil's development of a huge ethanol industry reduced its reliance on foreign oil. Others say that its leadership in exploring and producing more oil from greater depths off its coast played a bigger part.

In the weeks following President Barack H. Obama's inauguration, federal lawmakers will be grappling not only with immediate economic problems but also with developing longer-term solutions. New energy technology advocates in Congress can be expected to cite the statement in Obama's inaugural address that current economic woes resulted not just from the financial irresponsibility of some but also from the refusal of others to make the hard choices necessary to create a new economy.

Ethanol advocates can be expected to continue citing Brazil as an example of an aggressive ethanol program that has worked as they argue for a slice of the new energy technology pie. This program potentially provides a glimpse at the larger energy and economic picture as the US national debate gets under way.

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