The Ethanol Shuffle: U.S. Importing, Exporting Ethanol To and From Brazil

The California tail wags the ethanol donkey.

Here’s how the “Ethanol Shuffle” works according to Geoff Cooper at the Renewable Fuels Association:

… California imports sugarcane ethanol from Brazil rather than corn ethanol from Nebraska or Kansas; and in turn, corn ethanol from the Midwest travels to Houston or Galveston via rail, then is shipped to Brazil via tanker to “backfill” the volumes they sent to the U.S. Picture the irony of a tanker full of U.S. corn ethanol bound for Brazil passing a tanker full of cane ethanol bound for Los Angeles or Miami along a Caribbean shipping route. Remember, this is all being done in the name of reducing GHG emissions. But what are the real GHG implications of the shuffle? And what are the economic impacts?…

Read Cooper’s entire column.