Opinion

U.S. case helps contextualize Brazil’s ethanol policy scenario

Unlike corn-based ethanol in the U.S., Brazil's sugarcane ethanol industry was battered by the Covid pandemic. The future of the country's policies could be a key diplomatic issue going forward

Ethanol plant in Campo Florido, Minas Gerais. Photo: T photography/Shutterstock
Ethanol plant in Campo Florido, Minas Gerais. Photo: T photography/Shutterstock

There is perhaps no better parallel to understand the implications of Brazil’s current ethanol policy than recent developments in the U.S. With the war in Ukraine and the subsequent ban on Russian oil and energy imports precipitating the highest rate of American inflation in 40 years, U.S. policymakers are seeking to lower gas prices by 10 cents on the gallon at over 2,000 gas stations nationwide using an ethanol blend. 

Announcing the sale of 180 million barrels of oil from the U.S.’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve was the Biden administration’s attempt to address the energy crisis. However, this will hopefully...

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