Waterloo, Canada - The Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) has released its latest working paper entitled, "A Fresh Approach to US Energy Security and Alternative Fuels: The Western Hemisphere and the Ethanol Option" by Annette Hester. This paper is a special contribution to a larger CIGI initiative on global energy and security research.

Spurred by world events, energy security has vaulted to the top of the US political agenda. Concerns about supply interruptions and rising prices sped approval of an energy bill which Congress had in the works for nearly five years. Moreover, the growing prominence of the nation's energy challenges drew special attention from President Bush in his 2006 State of the Union Address, sparking a renewed search for viable alternative fuels. Of those, ethanol is receiving the lion's share of attention.

This paper argues that the new US focus on energy alternatives will undoubtedly impact the ethanol and agriculture markets. After reviewing the often neglected role that the Western Hemisphere plays in the US energy picture, this paper advances the notion that a key element of an effective ethanol strategy from both cost and environmental perspectives lies in forging technological and open trading relationships in the Western Hemisphere, particularly with Brazil and Canada.

This Working Paper is CIGI's latest contribution to research in the field of international governance aimed at policy and decision makers as well as the general public interested in international issues. All CIGI Working Papers can be downloaded at: http://www.cigionline.org/cigi/Publications/workingp

About the Author

Annette Hester is a fellow with the Centre for International Governance Innovation, a senior associate with the William E. Simon Chair in Political Economy at Center for Strategic and International Studies and an economist, writer, and independent scholar. Previously, she was the founding director of the Latin American Research Centre at the University of Calgary. Ms. Hester is the author of numerous articles published in Oil and Gas Journal, Estey Centre Journal, and the Journal of Canadian Petroleum Technology; as well as chapters in edited volumes; and is a frequent contributor to a variety of newspapers including The Globe and Mail and the Calgary Herald.

The opinions expressed in this article/multimedia are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of CIGI or its Board of Directors.