"Brazil is Zooming Ahead on Ethanol," U.S. and World Must "Brace for Looming Embarrassment at 2016 Olympics in Rio," Say Robert Weiner and George Clingan as World Watches London Olympics; Article in Miami Herald

Aug 10, 2012, 06:08 ET from Robert Weiner Associates

WASHINGTON, Aug. 10, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- "As the world watches the 2012 London Olympics, the United States ought to brace for a looming embarrassment at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Unless we act fast, everyone will see Brazilians spending one-third less per gallon and generating significantly cleaner air, while the United States and other nations remain locked in the stronghold of the OPEC oil cartels," Robert Weiner and George Clingan say in article in the Miami Herald. 

With the global warming case growing stronger than ever – July reported as the hottest in U.S. history –Weiner, a former White House and House Government Operations Committee spokesman, and Clingan, a Latin American policy analyst, challenge the public to "try to imagine an energy source that is abundant, carbon-neutral, and cheaper for the 250 million cars and trucks in the U.S. and Miami- Dade County's 1,012,724, as well as heating and cooling the homes of our 313 million people."

In the article, "Brazil is Zooming Ahead on Ethanol," Weiner and Clingan argue "Americans ought to be looking at Brazil's economic model, based upon biofuels, that helped the country grow to unprecedented levels and made Brazilians rich enough to buy up South Florida's depressed real estate market."

Weiner and Clingan say that "Brazil is amassing fortunes by developing the most biofuel-based infrastructure in the world from sugarcane-based ethanol.  It spends what is necessary to develop the infrastructure and offer tax incentives to encourage a nation-wide eco-friendly economy. As a result, Brazil has decreased oil imports from over 80% in the 1970's to essentially zero today (including their own domestic oil production)."

Weiner and Clingan contend, "Brazil's newfound wealth aided by its energy policy has rocketed the country to Florida's top trading partner.  They point to a statement that 'Brazil is our China' by Frank Nero, the head of Miami-Dade County's economic development agency.

Weiner and Clingan purport that "the biofuel picture in the United States is in stark contrast to Brazil's success story." They explain that "the United States' version is corn-based, which may cause more environmental harm, including carbon emissions during conversion and transportation, than petroleum, in addition to raising food prices." They say that "we can get on the right track if we stop listening to the oil companies' excuses."

Weiner and Clingan continue, "Under the Energy Acts of 2005 and 2007, a renewable fuel standard was established to mandate biofuel production, including a minimum 36 billion U.S. gallons of ethanol per year by 2022.  At least 16 billion gallons must come from cellulosic (trees and grass) biofuel, and no more than 15 billion from corn. But the challenge of the law's stated standard is that we do not have enough ethanol-capable gas stations (now less than one percent are ready) or dedicated pipelines (we have none).  The President campaigned to increase ethanol-capable cars. But we have not yet made the investments to allow this to occur."

Weiner and Clingan conclude, "Ethanol has the potential to transform energy in the United States, but only if Congress shows leadership and spurs the private sector to action.  Until then, Brazil will continue to increase its global stature from ethanol, reduced deforestation, and economic growth—and outshine the United States in the process."

Link to article:

Contact: Robert Weiner/George Clingan 301-283-0821, cell 202-306-1200 weinerpublic@comcast.net

SOURCE Robert Weiner Associates