Keep Us Strong WikiLeaks logo

Currently released so far... 2497 / 251,287

Articles

Browse latest releases

Browse by creation date

Browse by origin

A B C D F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W Y Z

Browse by tag

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
QA
YE YM YI

Browse by classification

Community resources

courage is contagious

Viewing cable 07SAOPAULO165, UNDER SECRETARY BURNS'S ENERGY ROUNDTABLE IN SAO PAULO, FEBRUARY 6, 2007 SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED - PLEASE PROTECT ACCORDINGLY

If you are new to these pages, please read an introduction on the structure of a cable as well as how to discuss them with others. See also the FAQs

Understanding cables
Every cable message consists of three parts:
  • The top box shows each cables unique reference number, when and by whom it originally was sent, and what its initial classification was.
  • The middle box contains the header information that is associated with the cable. It includes information about the receiver(s) as well as a general subject.
  • The bottom box presents the body of the cable. The opening can contain a more specific subject, references to other cables (browse by origin to find them) or additional comment. This is followed by the main contents of the cable: a summary, a collection of specific topics and a comment section.
To understand the justification used for the classification of each cable, please use this WikiSource article as reference.

Discussing cables
If you find meaningful or important information in a cable, please link directly to its unique reference number. Linking to a specific paragraph in the body of a cable is also possible by copying the appropriate link (to be found at theparagraph symbol). Please mark messages for social networking services like Twitter with the hash tags #cablegate and a hash containing the reference ID e.g. #07SAOPAULO165.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07SAOPAULO165 2007-03-01 16:04 2011-01-12 00:12 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Consulate Sao Paulo
VZCZCXRO2094
PP RUEHRG
DE RUEHSO #0165/01 0601606
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 011606Z MAR 07
FM AMCONSUL SAO PAULO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6501
INFO RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 7605
RUEHAC/AMEMBASSY ASUNCION 2950
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES 2662
RUEHMN/AMEMBASSY MONTEVIDEO 2295
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ 3249
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 0454
RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA 1508
RUEHSG/AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO 2007
RUEHRG/AMCONSUL RECIFE 3414
RUEHRI/AMCONSUL RIO DE JANEIRO 7857
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC 2727
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUEHRC/USDA FAS WASHDC 0658
RHEBAAA/USDOE WASHDC
RHMFISS/CDR USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 SAO PAULO 000165 

SIPDIS 

SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 

STATE FOR WHA/FO, WHA/BSC, WHA/EPSC, WHA/PDA 
STATE ALSO FOR P, S/P, E, EB/EPC, EB/ENR 
STATE PASS USTR FOR CRONIN 
STATE PASS EXIMBANK 
STATE PASS OPIC FOR DMORONESE, NRIVERA, CVERVENNE NSC FOR FEARS TREASURY FOR OASIA, DAS LEE AND JHOEK 
USDOC FOR 4332/ITA/MAC/WH/OLAC 
USDOC FOR 3134/ITA/USCS/OIO/WH/RD DOE FOR GWARD SOUTHCOM ALSO FOR POLAD USAID FOR LAC/AA 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: ENRG PGOV EAGR EPET SENV BR

SUBJECT: UNDER SECRETARY BURNS'S ENERGY ROUNDTABLE IN SAO PAULO, FEBRUARY 6, 2007 SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED - PLEASE PROTECT ACCORDINGLY 

------- SUMMARY ------- 

1. (SBU) Summary: In his February 6 meeting in Sao Paulo with senior Brazilian energy experts, Under Secretary R. Nicholas Burns emphasized the tremendous potential of U.S.-Brazilian cooperation on ethanol, and solicited his interlocutors' views on developing this partnership. Discussion centered on the foreign policy and market-building potential of this cooperation. End Summary 

2. (SBU) Under Secretary Burns was accompanied by WHA Assistant Secretary Tom Shannon, International Energy Coordinator Greg Manuel, SIPDIS S/P Member William McIlhenny, and P Special Assistant Heide Bronke. Following briefings and meetings in the Consulate, U/S Burns and his delegation, along with Ambassador Sobel, FAS Attach Alan Hrapsky, ATO Director Morgan Perkins, and econoff Valerie Wheat (notetaker), met with Brazilian experts in the energy field to discuss avenues of mutual cooperation. The discussion focused mostly on Brazil's experiences with ethanol. Participants included Luis Carvalho, agronomist and Chairman of the National Chamber for Ethanol and Sugar; Plinio Nastari, Agricultural Economist and consultant; and William Lee Burnquist, agronomist at the Cane Technology Center. 

------------------------------ BILATERAL BIOFUELS COOPERATION ------------------------------ 

3. (SBU) U/S Burns opened the discussion by referring to the potential for tremendous growth opportunities for both countries in the area of ethanol and asking the speakers to explore the possibilities for strengthening the U.S.-Brazilian relationship based on cooperation in the ethanol sector. How, he asked, could the world's two largest ethanol-producing countries, working together, impact on the global ethanol market? Is there a possibility for cooperation in science and technology and joint research to stimulate alternative fuel production? 

4. (SBU) Nastari described how Brazil is currently producing two types of ethanol: a blend of 20-25 percent, and pure fuel for dedicated fleets. Brazil produces ethanol cars and flex-fuel engine automobiles. Currently 82 percent of new automobile sales are flex-fuel cars. 40.4 percent of fuel consumed in Brazil is ethanol. 

5. (SBU) Brazil, using sugarcane technology, is currently converting molasses to ethanol, and this activity is expanding rapidly. The basis for good ethanol production is agriculture. Cost-efficient sugar cane production yields cheap sugar cane. Sixty percent of the cost of producing ethanol is the raw material. Brazil produces high-yield sugar cane inexpensively and can share its expertise and technology with the rest of Latin America and extend outward after that. Brazil has already begun to work with other countries, e.g., Paraguay. Industry contacts noted that with widespread sugar production throughout Latin America, development of a regional ethanol industry would provide a broadly-based energy supply. However, in order for this sector to develop in countries not currently producing ethanol even though they have large quantities of molasses, a regulatory framework is needed. 

SAO PAULO 00000165 002 OF 003 

------------------------ FOREIGN POLICY POTENTIAL ------------------------ 

6. (SBU) Burnquist stressed ethanol's enormous potential for foreign policy. Development of an alternative fuel source could help counter-balance Venezuela's influence, for example, in the Caribbean. Post-Castro Cuba could become an important producer. Brazil could build on President Lula's "south-south" initiative by expanding to Africa, Asia, and other parts of the developing world. Ethanol technology for Latin America could fulfill the Summit of the Americas goals of 1) phasing out lead, and 2) phasing out use of MTBE. 

-------------------------- MAKING ETHANOL A COMMODITY -------------------------- 

7. (SBU) According to Carvalho, seventy-five percent of all ethanol produced worldwide comes from the United States or Brazil. The two countries are natural partners, able to push sustainability with biofuels. They can produce clean energy, increase their incomes, and establish stronger commercial ties. Ethanol should be considered a commodity, with the U.S. and Brazil working together, able to establish reference prices. This could reduce ethanol costs, aid with mechanization in collection of raw materials (tractor companies such as John Deere), and assist in increasing trade in ethanol along the entire production chain. Japan is very interested in maintaining a supply adequate to its needs, increasing mandatory ethanol use from 3 to 10 percent. There are great investment opportunities in this area, with profits virtually guaranteed. 

8. (SBU) Carvalho further elaborated that technologically, Brazil is very advanced. Today it can produce more sugarcane per acre due to the development of high-yield crops. Although not yet economically feasible, cellulosic enzyme processing makes it possible to produce 50 percent more ethanol with the same input as currently used, if it can be transformed to sugar base. 

----------------- CREATING A MARKET ----------------- 

9. (SBU) With the United States targeting greater use of ethanol (35 billion gallons per year), the prospects for the market are good, Burnquist said, the more so because a growing problem in the U.S. is the amount of water available for the US-corn based ethanol production. Brazil is not a direct competitor, Burnquist continued, because its production is sugar-based. Growing domestic demand for ethanol will make it a challenge for Brazilian producers to supply enough ethanol for its own needs; they will not immediately need to seek markets outside Brazil. However, Brazil has good R&D, technology, and expertise, and has developed cane varieties. It can share this knowledge to assist other nations to become economically viable using sugar cane technology, as it has already done in Paraguay, Ecuador, Peru and Colombia. 

10. (SBU) U/S Burns asked how the Governments of Brazil and the United States could come together to work more closely on ethanol. 

SAO PAULO 00000165 003 OF 003 

The sugar cane industry in Brazil is traditionally private, replied Burnquist, with no formal role for the GoB, which is still formulating its policy. This would be a propitious moment for the two governments to work together, using ethanol as a trade incentive and reaping the foreign policy benefits. However, there needs to be careful joint planning to develop a proper regulatory framework. 

------- COMMENT ------- 

11. (SBU) Comment: The roundtable provided a useful overview of the issues and challenges involved in developing alternative energy sources. During his subsequent encounters with political leaders and media, and in his well-attended and well-received speech, U/S Burns repeatedly called on the United States and Brazil to work together to develop the regulatory infrastructure and technical capacity to create an international market for ethanol. End Comment. 

12. (U) This cable was coordinated with Embassy Brasilia and cleared by U/S Burns's delegation and Ambassador Sobel. 

MCMULLEN