General Question

vectorul's avatar

How did a third world country eliminate their dependance on oil?

Asked by vectorul (276points) July 2nd, 2008

Brasil eliminated their dependance on oil imports. How come we did not follow. I find it very disturbing that the greatest nation in the world is one of the most dependant on oil.

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7 Answers

vectorul's avatar

Excuse my misspelling I am doing five things at once at work.

jrpowell's avatar

You lost me at “greates nation in the world.”

edit :: Iceland is the best nation. Or picking the best is stupid.

soundedfury's avatar

20% of Brazil’s transport fuel is ethanol, made from sugar-cane. Using sugar is cheapest and easiest way to make ethanol, and Brazil is the largest sugar-producer in the world.

However, Brazil hasn’t eliminated their dependence on oil. They have eliminated their dependence on FOREIGN oil, which is key distinction. They have massive amounts of oil and natural gas reserves and are poised to be one of the oil superpowers due to recent discoveries of even larger reserves.

Basically, Brazil imports only a small amount of their actual oil needs. The rest is met by domestic supplies. By contrast, the U.S. imports the bulk of their oil needs and only generates a small amount through domestic supplies. Why? We don’t have vast reserves of usable oil the way that Brazil does.

The answer, my friend, is geography and geology.

And don’t even point to off-shore reserves and ANWR, as the usable crude in those areas would still only account for a small fraction of our needs. I think the last report says ANWR could supply 2–3% each year.

shilolo's avatar

This article does a decent job of explaining the situation. I would add to soundedfury’s response by saying that we drive many more cars than in Brazil, and, have many more gas-guzzling cars at that. We have yet to embrace the more efficient diesel fuel, or ethanol, or electric cars, unlike the situation is Brazil. Our time will come, but not for many years.

Yeco's avatar

Mass producing HHO appliances.

soundedfury's avatar

Also, Brazil isn’t a third-world country.

Lightlyseared's avatar

Depends on your definition of third world.Obligatory wikipediea link.

First World – N.A.T.O. countries
Second World – USSR Soviet block
Third World – All the rest.

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