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Energy Independence in Brazil: Lessons for the United States

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Publication Date: April 2008

Publisher(s): National Center for Policy Analysis (U.S.)

Author(s): D. Sean Shurtleff

Funder(s): National Center for Policy Analysis (U.S.)

Funder(s): National Center for Policy Analysis (U.S.)

Topic: Energy (Fuels)

Keywords: Energy Brazil

Type: Brief

Coverage: Brazil


Nationwide, average retail gasoline prices are nearing the all-time inflation-adjusted high of $3.40 a gallon reached in 1981, lending urgency to renewed calls for U.S. energy independence. Analysts often tout Brazil as the epitome of energy self-sufficiency. Brazil imported more than 80 percent of its oil in the 1970s, but it likely reached energy independence by the end of 2007, according to projections from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Brazil's success is commonly attributed to its thriving ethanol market, but this is at most only a small part of the story. More critical to Brazil's energy independence is its significant increase in domestic oil production.