U.S. and Brazil Likely to Discuss Ethanol in Meetings

Leaders of the Western Hemisphere meet at the Organization of American States' General Assembly in Panama.

A three-day meeting of leaders from the Americas this week is likely to make talks about high energy costs a high priority.

The Organization of American States' General Assembly in Panama will include the presentation of an OAS paper that suggests leaders should look for alternative fuel sources to lessen their dependency on fossil fuels.

For the U.S. and Brazil, energy security means reducing dependence on imported oil, including through the promotion of renewable fuels such as ethanol. The two countries lead the world in ethanol production.

But Cuba and Venezuela - which has the Americas' largest oil reserves - say ethanol expansion would cause hunger by taking resources away from food production.

The U.S. and Brazil have agreed to cooperate to promote ethanol in Latin America, while Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez has promised to try to prevent those efforts.

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