Did Hugo Chavez Call Bio-Diesel Lover Sean Penn a Criminal?


In the ever complicated environmental tussle between clean fuel and responsible use of resources the differing opinions over the use of biofuels has produced an interesting contrast of ideas — fueled by Ethanol.

Sean Penn, actor/activist has just initiated a cross-country trek using a fleet of biodiesel buses carrying about 300 people that will burn the corn fuel for 1,800 miles from the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival and ending in New Orleans for the annual jazz festival. Penn appeared twice yesterday at Coachella. He said of the trip, "I see this as a reckoning. My generation and those that came before have to recognize the numbing of incentive that we've passed on to the change hungry, imaginative, smarter than us youth of today." To see the larger implications of Penn's good intentions, read more.


Penn might mean well running his trip on corn, but he may have created an unlikely opponent. On the other side of the biodiesel debate is Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez who claims that “a US push to boost ethanol production during a world food crisis is a crime.”

Chavez also said that “the corn needed to fill an average car with ethanol would be enough to feed seven people for a year.” Venezuela is putting their corn where their mouth is, and will donate more than 385 tons to food to Haiti to help ease the suffering since the food shortages toppled their government.

Is Penn taking corn out of the mouths of the hungry while on his journey to try to inspire change and "encourage individuals to take individual actions"? Do you think biofuels are responsible for the current food crisis? Are they the answer to cleaner and renewable fuels, or just an eco-fairytale?

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