Hemispheric ethanol alliance

The Miami Herald reports:
In the coming months, Washington will roll out a strategic partnership with Brazil to expand ethanol and other biofuels usage in the hemisphere, hoping not only to bolster energy security and generate more rural jobs for poor countries but foster goodwill toward the United States, according to several people familiar with the issue. There's even talk that the Brazil deal could blunt the influence that Venezuela's Bush-bashing President Hugo Chávez exerts in the region by fomenting alternate fuels to Venezuela's oil wealth. U.S. officials, however, deny this, noting the arrangement would have happened regardless of Chávez. ''The United States and Brazil are the world's two largest biofuels producers so cooperation is natural,'' said Eric Watnik, a State Department spokesman. ``Our goal is advance to global energy security by helping countries diversify their supply.'
Excellent. Now, if only that 54 cent a gallon tariff on ethanol imports were removed...   UPDATE: Thanks Instapundit!

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