State’s ethanol plans are stuck in neutral
President Bush has announced a pact with Brazil to promote ethanol production.
AN ethanol deal between Brazil and the United States has as much to do with reasserting America's diminished role in the southern hemisphere as with partnering with the world's largest exporter of the fuel.
The alliance announced by President Bush on Friday has the two countries sharing technology to further develop alternative fuels and to boost Brazil's economy in hopes of curbing the influence of Hugo Chavez, the popular leftist president of oil-rich Venezuela.
Events an ocean away might eventually send ripples to Hawaii, but the state's goals of producing ethanol locally and reducing reliance on imports have languished.
Though Kauai Ethanol planned to start building its plant early this year, state and county permit delays have set that back. Other companies earlier projected that production would begin by this summer, but none is expected to go on line for at least another year. Even further away are cultivating crops that can be converted into ethanol.
Meanwhile, interest in other biofuels, such as palm oil that has attracted Maui Electric Co., might be depressing the drive toward ethanol, but because the gasoline additive is required by law, the effort to produce it cannot stall. State officials are obliged to help along facility construction and feed stock production.
Brazil has transformed its economy through sugar-cane based ethanol. Hawaii should at least be able to produce enough to turn away imports.
Oahu Publications, Inc. publishes
the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, MidWeek
and military newspapers
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
David Black, Dan Case, Dennis Francis,
Larry Johnson, Duane Kurisu, Warren Luke,
Colbert Matsumoto, Jeffrey Watanabe, Michael Wo
Editorial Page Editor
(808) 529-4748; firstname.lastname@example.org
The Honolulu Star-Bulletin (USPS 249460) is published daily by Oahu Publications at 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Suite 7-500, Honolulu, Hawaii 96813. Periodicals postage paid at Honolulu, Hawaii. Postmaster: Send address changes to Star-Bulletin, P.O. Box 3080, Honolulu, Hawaii 96802.