Alcohol can lead to all kinds of unintended consequences -- but who knew it could lead to energy independence? Apparently, the Brazilians did. Processing sugar cane into ethanol is expected to help Brazil meet its rising energy demands in a big way. According to an article in the New York Times, officials expect that within a year the country will become fully energy self-sufficient, thanks largely to putting sugar in gas tanks. Brazil's story is encouraging, but it's hard to know precisely what conclusions to draw for North Americans. We can't buy Brazil's success by importing cane-based ethanol, because our …
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Eric de Place is a senior researcher at Sightline Institute, a Seattle-based sustainability think tank, working on promoting smart policy decisions for the Pacific Northwest. Visit http://daily.sightline.org/blog/ to read more on Sightline's blog.
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