"Distilling ethanol from tropical sugarcane takes less land and uses less fossil fuel than starting with corn grown in temperate climes. That makes Brazilian ethanol, unlike the pampered and grotesquely wasteful American version, competitive with hydrocarbons and genuinely good for the environment."
Although ethanol is working well for Brazil, there is a growing literature supporting the idea that wide-scale ethanol production is not sustainable or environmentally beneficial. This is a great example to demonstrate that economic and environmental policies are locally dependent on geographic factors and are not universally transferable. For a simple explanation of the differences in the economic and environmental differences in the production of sugar and corn-based ethanol, see: http://cei.org/studies-issue-analysis/brazilian-sugarcane-ethanol-experience
--Well in this given situation though the benefit would be great to have alternative fuel and hopefully a reduction in price, does it affect the enviroment to the point where it can cause issues for the people of the land where it is being created..Meaning, all politics to the side, will the creation of such fuels and transport of fuels damage the land, cause a lack of resources for the people there etc. I believe this is what is being weighed and it should be since we have already used up most of the natural resources we were provided with.--Michelle Carvajal
Via Seth Dixon