Latin America is emerging as a key global producer of biofuels as nations
across the region seek to use competitive advantages such as fertile land and
tropical weather to tap into unprecedented energy prices.
The region invested more than $8 billion in biodiesel and ethanol in 2007 and
has already launched new projects that could increase global energy production
as demand from emerging-market economies outstrips growth in oil and gas
The efforts contrast sharply with the broad condemnation by leaders in the
region, led by Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, that the fuels increase food prices and
spur global hunger. Critics around the world have echoed such concerns, charging
farmers may divert crops toward biofuels and away from food crops.
A biofuels push could sustain energy flows from Latin America toward the United
States, the world's top energy consumer, as falling oil output in Venezuela and
Mexico has left ...