Biofuel Pact = Latest Bush Conspiracy!!!!

Well, silly me, here I thought that the Biofuel Pact that will be signed by President Bush and Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva would be viewed as a good thing. Here’s what I thought would be the main storyline:

President Bush sees the new agreement with Brazil on ethanol as a way to boost alternative fuels production in the Americas and get more cars running on something other than gasoline….
Bush says he wants to work with Brazil, a pioneer in ethanol production for decades, to push the development of alternative fuels in Central America and the Caribbean. He and Silva also want to see standards set in the growing industry to help turn ethanol into an internationally traded commodity.

The first portion of the above excerpt is the first paragraph of the AP story. The second paragraph is much farther down and leads into a discussion of tariff’s. But in between, the AP devotes space to the conspiracy theory that Bush really wants to CONTROL THE FLOW OF ETHANOL IN AN OPEC-LIKE CARTEL!!!!!
UPDATE: Hit the “Continue reading” link below to view the middle–and tone setting–portion of the AP story (removed from above) in full. And it looks like many enviro’s in this country were for ethanol before they were against it (via Glenn Reynolds). Why the change? C’mon, you know…if the President is for it…..
UPDATE II: More here from WaPo (via this NRO post–which offers one conservative’s reason for why ethanol isn’t the way to go). From the WaPo:

The environmental organization Greenpeace issued a statement complaining that whatever environmental benefits ethanol would produce in reducing greenhouse gases pale in comparison to those that would be attained by a cap on carbon emissions, which Bush opposes.
“The U.S. government must take a giant leap forward quickly in order to make the necessary steps to combat global warming,” said John Coequyt, an energy specialist with the group. “An aggressive focus on ethanol, without a federally mandated cap on emissions, is simply a leap sideways.”

It’s that “nothing is ever fast enough…we’re all gonna die!” attitude that gives me pause.

:Demonstrators upset with Bush’s visit here worry that the president and his biofuels buddy, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, really have visions of an
OPEC-like cartel on ethanol.
While Bush’s nemesis in Latin America, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, is using his vast oil wealth to court allies in the region, Bush is sealing the deal Friday on an ethanol agreement with Brazil where nearly eight in 10 new cars run on fuel made from sugar cane.
Call it ethanol diplomacy.
Brazil is the first stop on Bush’s eighth trip to Latin America, which also includes visits to Uruguay, Colombia, Guatemala and Mexico. On his 45-minute ride from the airport to his hotel on Thursday night, Bush’s motorcade sped by a dozen or so gas stations where drivers in this traffic-clogged city can pump either gasoline or ethanol.
Bystanders gawked at Bush’s limousine, but only a few people waved. Anti-American sentiment runs high in Brazil, especially over the war in
Iraq. Bush missed the demonstrations earlier in the day protesting his visit.
Riot police fired tear gas and beat some protesters with batons after more than 6,000 people held a largely peaceful march through the financial district of Sao Paulo. About 4,000 agents, including Brazilian troops and
FBI and U.S.
Secret Service officers, are working to secure Bush’s stay in the city that lasts about 24 hours.
Undeterred by protests, Bush says he’s on a goodwill tour to talk about making sure the benefits of democracy — in the form of better housing, health care and education — are available to all Latin Americans, not just the wealthy.
He’s visiting a community center in a neighborhood where the ultra rich live in close proximity to the desperately poor. U.S. companies have donated equipment to the center where Bush plans to highlight programs to give poor and disadvantaged youth a way forward in life.
In Latin America, however, Bush’s trip is widely viewed as a way for the president to counter the influence of Chavez, the populist ally of Cuba’s
Fidel Castro, who has led a leftward political shift in Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia and Nicaragua.
To taunt Bush, the Venezuelan leader will speak at an “anti-imperialist” rally in a soccer stadium on Saturday in Buenos Aires, Argentina, about 40 miles across the Plate River from Montevideo, where Bush will meet Uruguay’s president, Tabor Vazquez.
While in Sao Paulo, Bush also will visit a fuel depot, operated by a subsidiary of the state-owned Petrobras, where about 100 trucks come and go daily.
Some protesters, carrying stalks of sugar cane, protested the ethanol agreement, which is being formally signed by officials with the State Department and the Brazilian foreign ministry. The demonstrators warned that increased ethanol production could lead to social unrest because most operations are run by wealthy families or corporations that reap the profits, while the poor are left to cut the cane with machetes.
“Bush and his pals are trying to control the production of ethanol in Brazil, and that has to be stopped,” said Suzanne Pereira dos Santos of Brazil’s Landless Workers Movement.
The White House dismisses talk that the ethanol agreement between Bush and Silva is aimed at setting up an “OPEC of Ethanol” cartel led by Washington and Brasilia.

Yup, I guess because that “War for Oil” isn’t going as planned, now President Bush is going after ethanol. It’s soooooo obvious!

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16 years ago

I’m wondering where the “save the rainforest” groups are. Massive expansion of sugar cane production will displace beef pasture and soya land, thus more rainforest will be cleared for those products. I suppose we can’t have our cake and eat it too.

16 years ago

Ethanol is just a secret plot to raise the price of corn to the point where Mexicans can’t afford to eat tortillas.

16 years ago

“Ethanol is just a secret plot to raise the price of corn to the point where Mexicans can’t afford to eat tortillas.”
Let’s see, some observers are unhappy that we are “oppressing” people from other countries by enforcing our immigration laws. Now the question arises, is it acceptable to oppress them – in the way Greg describes – in order to save the planet?

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