U.S., Brazilian presidents discuss biofuels

By Erin Voegele | March 09, 2009
Web exclusive posted March 18, 2009, at 11:29 a.m. CST

U.S. President Barack Obama met with Brazilian President Luiz In�cio Lula da Silva, also known as President Lula, on March 14. Following the meeting, the two presidents spoke with members of the press.

When asked about Brazil's nearly unprecedented move towards biofuels, and whether it would create friction with U.S. biofuel producers, Obama said Brazil has shown extraordinary leadership when it comes to biofuels. "I've been a great admirer of the steps that have been taken by President Lula's government in pursuing biofuels and developing them," Obama said.

"My policies coming into this administration have been to redouble efforts here in the United States to pursue a similar path of clean energy development," Obama said. "And I think we have a lot to learn from Brazil."

Obama also acknowledged that the issue of Brazilian ethanol imports has been a source of tension between the two countries.

"This is a process," Lula said. "As time goes by, Brazil is proving that biofuel is an extraordinary alternative. And slowly the countries will be convinced. And slowly other countries will join the biofuel effort. That's what I believe."
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