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Factually Incorrect With Bill Maher

Posted By Todd Thurman On May 3, 2010 @ 5:00 pm In Energy | Comments Disabled

During the weekly round table discussion on ABC’s This Week, Bill Maher made an astonishing claim. He claimed that Brazil has “gone off oil” in the last 30 years [1]. He said:

So, you know, I could certainly criticize oil companies, and I could criticize America in general for not attacking this problem in the ’70s. I mean, Brazil got off oil in the last 30 years. We certainly could have.

Well, Mr. Maher certainly has an odd view of what constitutes “getting off oil” because according to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Brazil is the 13th largest producer of oil in the world [2], pumping out 2.4 million barrels a day. A lot of Brazil’s oil comes from offshore drilling sites [3]. Since the discovery of the offshore oil [4] in 2008, Brazil has aggressively tried to extract that oil [5].

While Maher correctly stated that Brazil does use sugar cane ethanol, but it does not account for their entire energy needs. Brazil still gets most of their energy from crude oil and diesel reserves. More damaging is the fact that planting sugar cane is causing more deforestation and more carbon emissions [6] in Brazil. Not exactly what those fighting for ethanol mandates are hoping for, but this is the reality in Brazil. In fact, the left-leaning Grist [7] magazine noted that there was much to worry about Brazil’s ethanol “miracle” [8] and the U.S. should think twice before following the same plight.

It would behoove Mr. Maher to actually check his facts before he spews them out on national television. Thankfully, George Will was there to counter his ridiculous claim.


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URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2010/05/03/factually-incorrect-with-bill-maher/

URLs in this post:

[1] “gone off oil” in the last 30 years: http://abcnews.go.com/ThisWeek/week-transcript-mckay-napolitano-salazar-allen/story?id=10532649&page=4

[2] Brazil is the 13th largest producer of oil in the world: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2173rank.html

[3] lot of Brazil’s oil comes from offshore drilling sites: http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/cabs/Brazil/Oil.html

[4] discovery of the offshore oil: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/11/business/worldbusiness/11iht-oil.1.9147825.html?_r=2

[5] extract that oil: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/06/AR2009120602442.html

[6] causing more deforestation and more carbon emissions: http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2010/04/09/the_dirty_underside_of_lulas_clean_energy_revolution?page=0,1

[7] Grist: http://www.grist.org/

[8] there was much to worry about Brazil’s ethanol “miracle”: http://www.grist.org/article/2010-04-13-raising-cane-the-trouble-with-brazils-much-celebrated-ethanol-mi/

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