Today’s New York Times carries a story titled “Strong Economy Propels Brazil to World Stage” and reports:

It has greatly diversified its industrial base, has huge potential to expand a booming agricultural sector into virgin fields and holds a tremendous pool of untapped natural resources. New oil discoveries will thrust Brazil into the ranks of the global oil powers within the next decade.

Petrobras, Brazil’s national oil company, shocked the oil world in November when it announced that its Tupi deepwater field offshore of Rio de Janeiro could hold five billion to eight billion barrels of oil. Analysts think there could be billions of barrels more in surrounding areas.

While the oil will be expensive and complicated to extract, Petrobras has said it expects to be producing up to 100,000 barrels a day from Tupi by 2010, and hopes to produce up to a million barrels a day in about a decade.

The new oil plays are setting off an investment boom in Rio de Janeiro, with an estimated $67.6 billion expected to flow into the state by 2010, according to the Rio de Janeiro State Federation of Industries, an industry group. Petrobras alone expects to invest $40.5 billion by 2012.

Meanwhile back in the United States, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is refusing to even allow the House to vote on whether to lift bans on oil exploration in the Outer Continental Shelf or the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Explaining to Politico why she refuses to allow the U.S. to tap the combined 30 billion estimated barrels of oil in the two regions, Pelosi said: “I’m trying to save the planet; I’m trying to save the planet.