Converting to ethanol in Australia

Much like in America, ethanol is also booming down under in Australia. According to Tony Kelly, the New South Wales Minister for Regional Development, service stations have been converting vehicles and gas stations as fast as they could.

The only problem is that the employees that complete the ethanol conversions are falling behind due to the very high demand.

The Australian Government has been giving many companies resources to convert their infrastructure from petroleum to ethanol however the resources are set to expire in October of 2007.

The New South Wales Government is asking the Commonwealth to extend the ethanol distribution program for another four years, well past the deadline of October.

Last year, Australia announced plans to provide resources to fuel stations to upgrade their fuel tanks in order for the tanks to carry ethanol along with gasoline.

Originally, the ethanol distribution program was to run for only one year. Tony Kelly says the twelve month time frame is far from enough to upgrade. With public interest and awareness at its peak, now is not the time for pulling the plug on the bio-fuel industry.

Follow this link for more information on converting to ethanol.

E85, Automakers and Bush

The United States automaker chief executives met with and further pushed President George Bush to back incentives bringing e85 ethanol and biodiesel to more gas stations across the country. The automotive companies examined their output of the newest flex-fuel vehicles.

In five years, half the cars made by General Motors, Chrysler and Ford Motor company, would be capable to run on biodiesel or E85, the automotive executives explained.

The meeting with President Bush in Washington DC was for the second time in about 16 weeks that Rick Wagoner of GM, Alan R. Mulally of Ford and Thomas W. LaSorda of Chrysler urged President Bush to expand access to more and more biofuels. The automaker executives wanted that over the proposed stricter fuel economy as a way to cut America’s oil use.

“If the goal is to reduce oil imports and improve the environment, the opportunity is first of all in ethanol, biodiesel,” Wagoner explained to reporters after the summit. They spent almost no time at all conversing about mileage, he said.

The United States of America has over six million flex-fuel vehicles on the roads, but of the country’s 170,000 gas stations we only have 2,000 E85 or biodiesel pumps, they added.

“We are willing to lead the way,” the automakers’ stated. “We need government and fuel providers to increase infrastructure before we can make a meaningful impact.”

President Bush did not comment publicly to biofuel incentives. America’s ethanol producers, made mainly from corn, receive a tax credits of 51 cents per gallon. They also receive a 54 cent tariff on every gallon of ethanol that is imported. Flex-fuel vehicle automakers get a credit that lets them increase their automobile’s fuel economy.

Putting E85 stations within five miles of American motorists would require at a minimum of 20,000 pumps, Phil Lampert says, the director of the National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition based in Jefferson City, Missouri.

President Bush is calling for a 20% cut in American’s oil consumption within a decade, 75% of that figure factors using alternative fuels, and the rest of the 25% will be attributed to better vehicle fuel economy.

Bush signs with Brazil to promote Ethanol

President Bush on Friday continued to say that the United States is not forgetting about Latin America and announced an alternative-fuel pact with Brazil to prove it.

“I don’t think America gets enough credit for trying to help improve people’s lives,” President Bush said at a news conference with Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva present. “My trip is to explain as clearly as I can that our nation is generous and compassionate.”

Bush played off attacks from Chavez, who is currently his primary South American tormentor. The Venezuelan leader is planning his own tour of the region along with Bush’s week long, five-country visit.

President Chavez said he did not come to sabotage Bush or his visit, saying the timing was purely coincidence, even as Bush arrived in Uruguay for his 36 hour stay.

Chavez uses his country’s oil wealth to reach out to other Latin Americans and to court other likely leaders.

When asked directly about Chavez’s latest threats, Bush refused to say Chavez by name, a common practice of his.

“I bring the good will of the United States to South America and Central America,” Bush said. “That’s why I’m here.”

Bush also made sure to note that the total aid provided by America has doubled since he took office to 1.6 billion dollars.

Bush sees Silva as a counter-balance to Chavez for the region.

As a sign of his standing, the president invited Silva to visit Camp David on March 31.

The the main reason of Bush’s Brazilian stop, the first before heading on to Uruguay, Colombia, Guatemala then Mexico, was a new ethanol agreement.

The two went in the morning to a large fuel depot for tanker trucks, the backdrop for arguments from Bush and Silva that increasing alternative-fuel use will lead to more jobs, a cleaner environment and greater independence from the whims of the oil market.

In Brazil, nearly eight in 10 cars already run on fuel made from sugar cane.

The agreement, signed Friday morning by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and her Brazilian counterpart, has the U.S. and Brazil joining forces to promote more ethanol use in nations lying between Brazil and the United States. It also creates new quality standards for the alternative fuel.

But there were clear remaining tensions on a related issue: the 54-cent-a-gallon U.S. tariff on imports of Brazilian ethanol made from sugar, a measure designed to help U.S. corn growers. Ethanol can be made from either crop.

Before Bush’s visit, Silva said the duty was unjust and that he would urge Bush to seek to get the U.S. Congress to rescind it.

“It’s not going to happen. The law doesn’t end until 2009. And the Congress will … look at it when the law ends,” Bush commented while at the news conference.

For his region, Silva joked about the stalemate and his inability to alter Bush’s psyche.

“If I had that capacity for persuasion that you think I might have, who knows? I might have convinced President Bush to do so many other things that I couldn’t even mention here.”

“This is a process,” the Brazilian president added.

Bush and Silva also agreed to try to relaunch stalled global trade talks — the so-called Doha round — and Bush said, “We will work together. We will lock our trade ministers in a room, all aimed at advancing this important round.”

Susan Schwab, U.S. Trade Representative, was stayed behind to meet with Brazilian officials Saturday.

In Latin America, Brazil has the largest economy.