Promoting the Sustainability of Biofuels in America: Looking to Brazil

43 Pages Posted: 24 Sep 2014

See all articles by Julia Johnson

Julia Johnson

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: December 20, 2013


This article explores the reasons why previous attempts at biofuels legislation in the United States have not been successful and focuses upon market-level incentives that drive consumer willingness to purchase biofuels. For the U.S.’s biofuels policies to be more effective, the nation must better employ consumer-side factors and devise policies around promoting biofuels’ ability to compete with conventional fuels. Consumer-side factors include biofuels’ accessibility and pricing, as well as the ease and attractiveness of purchasing alternative energy-powered vehicles. The U.S.’s initiatives have also neither been aggressive enough, nor sufficiently comprehensive, to enable the U.S. to mirror Brazil’s success. This article reviews the factors that have limited the efficacy of the U.S.’s biofuels initiatives, as compared to Brazil. First, a background of Brazil’s ethanol framework will be provided. Second, the U.S.’s biofuels policies will be reviewed. Third, the factors reducing the success of the U.S.’s policies, as compared to those policies in Brazil, shall be considered. Finally, recommendations will be set forth describing how the U.S. can more effectively incorporate biofuels into its energy framework.

Keywords: Environmental Law, Energy Law, Renewable Energy, International Law

JEL Classification: G00

Suggested Citation

Johnson, Julia, Promoting the Sustainability of Biofuels in America: Looking to Brazil (December 20, 2013). Available at SSRN: or

Julia Johnson (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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