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Obama aids oil drilling in Brazil
The Wall Street Journal reported that, "The U.S. government's export credit agency has authorized $3 billion in financing for Brazil, including $2 billion for the Brazilian government-run oil company, Petroleo Brasileiro SA, or Petrobras." Somewhere investor George Soros must be smiling.
In an OP-Ed with the USA Today the President said, "We'll also work to strengthen our relationship when it comes to energy. Brazil holds recently discovered oil reserves that could be far larger than ours, and as we seek to increase secure-energy supplies, we look forward to developing a strategic energy partnership. We'll also continue our shared leadership in green economic growth and clean energy, including everything from biofuels to renewables such as wind and solar power."
In fact Obama said he was looking forward to importing oil from Brazil. The President said "We want to work with you. We want to help with technology and support to develop these oil reserves safely, and when you're ready to start selling, we want to be one of your best customers."
Running up our deficit so we can be more dependent on foreign oil? The President goes on, "At a time when we've been reminded how easily instability in other parts of the world can affect the price of oil, the United States could not be happier with the potential for a new, stable source of energy."
US, Brazil expand biofuels co-operation to aviation sector
In Brazil, President Obama and newly inaugurated Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff expanded a Memorandum of Understanding on Biofuels, and agreed “that the two countries have converging interests in energy-related matters, including in oil, natural gas, biofuels and other renewables. President Obama stated that the United States seeks to be a Strategic Energy Partner of Brazil. They praised the Working Group on Energy and the Memorandum of Understanding to Advance the Cooperation
on Biofuels and decided that their work will be carried out under the umbrella of a bilateral Strategic Energy Dialogue.”
To the four year old MOU, the leaders added language on aviation biofuels development, including support for the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative (CAAFI) and the Brazilian Alliance for Aviation Biofuels. The leaders did not release any language related to the disposition of the 54 cent per gallon ethanol tariff, which shields US corn ethanol, from competition from lower cost sugarcane ethanol.
Prior to becoming president of Brazil, Rousseff had served in past years as Brazilian minister of energy.
OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Republicans pounce on Obama's Brazilian oil support
State of Play: Republicans and the oil industry are working to translate President Obama’s weekend comments in support of Brazilian oil development into political ammunition in their battle against the White House’s U.S. drilling policies.
The American Petroleum Institute, the country’s most powerful oil and gas trade association, and Republicans, including House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), said Monday that the administration should be doing more to develop U.S. oil-and-gas reserves.
Here’s Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), who is among the lawmakers pushing for wider U.S. offshore drilling: “It’s ridiculous to ignore our own resources and continue going hat-in-hand to countries like Saudi Arabia and Brazil to beg them to produce more oil,” Vitter said in a statement. “We need to get serious about developing our resources here at home and working toward lower gas prices and long-term energy independence.”
But President Obama said Saturday during his visit to Brazil that an energy partnership with the nation will offer major benefits for the United States. Obama, in announcing a "Strategic Energy Dialogue" with Brazil, noted that the country has nearly twice the oil reserves as the United States and lauded its stability compared to some other oil-exporting countries.
“We want to work with you. We want to help with technology and support to develop these oil reserves safely, and when you’re ready to start selling, we want to be one of your best customers,” Obama told a group of business leaders Saturday. “At a time when we’ve been reminded how easily instability in other parts of the world can affect the price of oil, the United States could not be happier with the potential for a new, stable source of energy.”
Under the Strategic Energy Dialogue, the United States will work with Brazil “in the environmentally responsible and technologically advanced development” of Brazilian oil resources, according to a White House summary of the plan.
Administration officials also say they are working diligently to expand U.S. oil-and-gas development. The Interior Department has recently issued three deepwater drilling permits for the type of projects halted after last year’s Gulf oil spill. And the department on Monday approved an exploration plan that paves the way to expanded Gulf drilling.
US agrees to help Chile go nuclear, despite Japan disaster
Among the "urgent events" that President Obama said he discussed Monday with Chilean President Sebastián Piñera was the unfolding nuclear crisis in Japan that began March 11 when a magnitude 9.0 earthquake and resulting tsunami along the northeast coast.
While the crisis only appeared to be mentioned in passing during a press conference in Santiago during Mr. Obama's five-day regional tour, it has set off a firestorm of criticism against Mr. Piñera and caused a major rethink over energy policy here.
Yesterday, some 2,000 people marched through the capital to protest a new US-Chile nuclear power cooperation agreement signed Friday as radiation leaked from Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant. The agreement promises cooperation in operating research reactors, handling civilian nuclear training and safety measures. It seemed a natural extension of Piñera's steady push for nuclear power to ensure electricity for Chile's world-leading copper industry.
US copper import rise points to healthier economy
"The stimulus is being reflected in the copper numbers," said Larry Young, president of Covenant Trading LLC in Chicago.
"Plans are going forward that will require more copper."
President Barack Obama proposed a six-year $50 billion infrastructure plan to revamp highways, rails and airport runways in an effort to create more near-term jobs and improve the long-term U.S. transportation network.
China is the world's largest consumer of copper.
Brazil: Obama's Visit Marked by Protests, Repression and Criticism
On Monday 21 March, 2011, United States President Barack Obama left Brazil, his first stop on a quick tour of Latin America intended to tighten economic ties. He continued to Santiago, Chile and then on to El Salvador.
Intended to be a party, Obama’s first visit to Brazil was marked by the controversial decision to intervene militarily in Libya, in addition to the “covering up” of the favela shanty towns and police repression of protesters.
Obama go home
Even before touching down on Brazilian soil, Obama's visit was already causing controversy. Early on the night of Friday 18 March, 2011, a protest outside the United States Consulate in Rio ended in violence. Of the more than 300 activists present, thirteen were arrested after a Molotov cocktail was thrown at the Consulate, according to the police, who reacted with rubber bullets, pepper spray and tear gas.
The Youtube video above posted on March 18, shows people singing slogans against Obama’s visit, America’s supposed interest in Brazilian petroleum and the imminent attack on Libya. From 1 minute 45 seconds, the sound of explosions can be heard, followed by running.
Those detained were accused of causing bodily harm, attempted arson and conspiracy. In the blogosphere, they are being called political prisoners.