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Future biofuel production estimates soar

April 2, 2007 at 8:55 PM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, April 2 (UPI) -- Brazil and the rest of Latin America will be key players in the up-and-coming global biofuels production, the head of the Inter-American Development Bank said Monday.

"The private sector is responding to this new reality much more quickly than policymakers. This is going to radically transform agricultural production in many parts of the world," Luis Alberto Moreno said. "We're witnessing the birth of a new global industry."

The IDB released a report highlighting the future of "green energy" and its potential in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IDB predicts biofuel production will skyrocket in developing countries.

Brazil, the world leader in biofuels, follows only the United States as the leading producer of ethanol. In 2005, Brazil's ethanol production, sugarcane-based, accounted for half of all ethanol traded internationally. Together, the U.S. and Brazil makes up 70 percent of ethanol production.

Moreno said he has high hopes the biofuel industry will enhance the quality of life throughout the Americas by bringing economic development and creating jobs for poor, rural areas that must rely on imported fossil fuels.

The United States will also benefit nationally and globally, said former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who is a member of the Inter-American Ethanol Commission. More ethanol will lead to less dependence on foreign oil, less gas consumption and less harmful technology for the environment, he said.

The United States, as the No. 1 consumer of energy, has strides to make in order to meet the initiative of President Bush's recent State of the Union address, former Gov. Bush noted. The plan calls for the increase of U.S. consumption of biofuels -- 35 billion gallons of renewable energy by the year 2017.

The platform existing between the United States and Brazil will help "promote the idea of creating a regional ethanol market in the Americas," the former Florida governor said.

© 2007 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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