Brazil could displace oil at lower enviromental & dollar cost. Just released study (Unicamp University - one of the best in technology) shows that with no clearing of rain forests there are 2.5E8 hectars of reasonbly level land in Brazil with soil, rain, truck access, etc. for mechainical cultivation of sugar cane. Also there is great potential in "enzimatic hydrolysis" for efficiency improvement of the conversion (I do not know what this really is). The following is partial extract from Forbes special report, 16 Nov.05 called: "Sugar in the Tank" (Author David Atoms): "Brazil is the world's largest producer of sugar and ethanol. Brazilian cars are also equipped with engines that can run on ethanol and gasoline, or any blend of the two. Known as "flex-fuel" cars, they have dazzled the market since their launch by Volkswagen in March 2003. Last month, they captured 66.7% of new car sales. ... ...in Brazil ethanol, or "alcool" as it is called, costs only $2 at the pump, compared to $4 for a gasoline-ethanol blend (Brazil no longer sells regular unblended gasoline). And while ethanol-powered cars consume 25% to 30% more fuel per mile than gasoline cars, the average motorist can save about $820 a year by switching to ethanol. ... 'Ethanol is typically cheaper than regular gasoline, and we're going to do all that we can to support it," said President Bill Ford in a speech to employees in Dearborn, Mich. Ford has since begun a prime time TV advertising campaign for its ethanol vehicles, noting that it plans to produce 250,000 ethanol vehicles next year, way ahead of its plans to produce 250,000 hybrid cars by 2010.' ... U.S. ethanol production is rising dramatically, thanks to generous corn subsidies, (at least $4.5 billion according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture) and tax incentives for fuel distributors. There are currently 93 ethanol plants in the United States, with another 24 under construction. Production is expected to rise to 5 billion gallons by the end of next year. ... INSERTED COMMENT BY BILLY T: Few understand how much of their tax dollars go to support the inefficient sugar / alcohol industry in US: If US bought alcohol from Brazil (and other tropical producers who have cheap land, labor, 24 month growing season, good rains, etc. No wonder frozen Iowa's corn based Alcohol is several times more expensive to produce.) IT WOULD COST US TAX PAYERS LESS if US simply GAVE CAR FUEL AWAY FOR FREE!!!!! The amount given would need to be limited because if car fuel were free, the consumption would rise and this would no longer be true. Perhaps every US citizen could receive free (transferable for non car owners) coupons for 1000 liters of free alcohol annually and pay lower taxes. The US voter is in the pocket of the Iowa corn lobby and too ignorant to know it.(end of Billy T insert) Last year the use of ethanol reduced the U.S. trade deficit by $5.1 billion by eliminating the need to import 143 million barrels of oil, according the Renewable Fuels Association, which represents ethanol producers. In recent years, major energy companies weren't interested, leaving the field wide open to smaller entrepreneurs. Ethanol became the salvation for Midwest corn growers struggling to make ends meet with a saturated market and slumping prices. ... Sugarcane growers in Florida recently commissioned an ethanol study. Oil industry executives testifying at Senate hearings recently urged that the solution for U.S. energy needs lies in better "access" to new exploration and streamlining refinery permits. To be sure, experts agree that gasoline still has a major role in U.S. energy supply. But with demand and future prices of fossil fuels uncertain, the day of renewable energy may have arrived. ..."