Bill Would Promote Biofuels Cooperation With Brazil

Cindy Zimmerman

While most of Congress was working on a bailout for the financial crisis last week, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed a bill that would strengthen energy cooperation between the United States and Brazil to promote the production and use of sustainable biofuels throughout Latin America.

Richard LugarThe legislation, authored by Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Member Dick Lugar, would promote accelerated development of sustainable biofuels and other renewable energy production, help establish voluntary carbon trading markets, leverage private investment in new energy, promote research, and further integrate the Hemisphere’s energy infrastructure.

“The United States and Brazil are the region’s biofuels leaders, but more countries in the region can and should get into the business of producing domestic biofuels to increase employment, boost rural incomes, improve trade balances, as well as gain protection from the whims of the international oil market whose gyrations have wiped out many nations’ recent gains in poverty reduction,” Lugar said.

Sections of the bill would expand and codify a Memorandum of Understanding signed in March of 2007 by Presidents George W. Bush of the United States and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of Brazil.

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