Feb. 19, 2002 — A major update has been completed for the Brazil Country Energy Overview, and it is now online at the DOE Fossil Energy International web site.

A link to the Brazil Country Energy Overview exists at the FE International Main Page and also at the Brazil country page, respectively.

A direct link to the Brazil Country Energy Overview is:

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The Federation of Brazil (Brazil), with a population of nearly 175 million and an annual growth rate of about 1 percent, is the largest nation in South America.

With the exception of Chile and Ecuador, every non-island country in South America shares a border with Brazil — French Guiana, Duriname, Guyana, and Venezuela to the north, Colombia and Peru to the west, Bolibia, Paraguay, and Argentina to the southwest, Uruguay to the south, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east.

In 1994, the Brazilian Congress ratified the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). Brazil is also a founding member of the World Trade Organization and a member of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Latin American Energy Organization (OLADE).

It is also a member of the Southern Common Market (Mercosur) along with Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay.

Brazil has shown a willingness to pursue genuine changes in fiscal policy, energy privatization, intellectual property rights, and environmental clean-up, as well as in other areas, such as human rights and the administration of justice.

On June 1, 2001, the Brazilian government instituted an energy-rationing program to curb usage as a means to avoid blackouts. The energy shortage is being blamed on lack of government planning, under-investment in the energy sector, and a severe drought that lowered reservoirs to alarmingly low water levels.

The plan — which has a goal of slashing energy consumption by 10% to as much as 35% — will fine or cut power to those who fail to comply.