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  Brazil Is World's Ethanol Superpower
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Last Editedoff_to_DC  Mar 16, 2006 04:09am
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MediaTV News - Columbia Broadcasting System CBS News
News DateThursday, March 16, 2006 10:00:00 AM UTC0:0
DescriptionIn an agroindustrial complex ringed by fields of 12-foot-high sugar cane, a giant mechanical claw dumps stalks by the tons into an even larger crushing machine. Here's where the renewable fuel used to power seven of every 10 new Brazilian cars gets its start.

Sugary slurry flows into a row of gleaming stainless steel distilling tanks, transforming cane harvested only hours earlier by machete-wielding farm laborers into ethanol, the alternative fuel now promoted by President Bush to end what he calls America's addiction to imported oil.

While Mr. Bush set 2025 as the target date for replacing three-fourths of the oil imported from the Middle East with American ethanol, Brazil already satisfies nearly half of its domestic passenger vehicle fuel demand with ethanol.

After decades of government intervention and subsidies, the industry here is a thriving free market business, complete with ethanol pumps at every filling station in Latin America's largest country. Millions of cars run on either ethanol, gas or any combination of the two. And there's plenty more land available for sugar cane cultivation as the planet's biggest sugar producer gears up to become its undisputed long-term ethanol supplier.
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