Sunday, June 22, 2008

We need to reduce petrol use, not increase supply

Petrol prices in Australia have just hit all time record highs or around $1.70 per litre. This is having a big impact on people, particularly those who are dependant on cars for their work and/or commuting. I just filled my car up, a Mitubishi 4WD van with a long range tank, and put over $200.00 in it for about 130 litres. The car gets about 12l/100km which is much better than a "conventional" 4WD but a lot worse than fuel efficient diesels which get 5l/100km.

Unfortunately, the Rudd Government and the federal opposition, led my Brendan Nelson, both share the view that we need to increase supplies of fuel. Neither seem too interested in providing alternatives to using cars such as boosting public transport for bike paths and lanes.

Industry Minister Martin Ferguson is even in Saudi Arabia trying in vain to get OPEC to boost supplies in an effort to reduce the price [link] however:

The Federal Opposition says Energy Minister Martin Ferguson will most likely achieve little at the emergency meeting of energy powers in Saudi Arabia.

The world is running out of oil, so the price will continue to rise.

It is high time our political leaders stopped gazing at their navels and took some real action to reduce our dependency on fossil fuel, with the added benefit that this would lower carbon emissions and help us try to avoid dangerous climate change to.

They should also make diesel cheaper than petrol, as there is a greater supply and diesel motors are much more efficient than petrol motors so they emit less greenhouse gas per km travelled.

Currently the Australian government has a higher excise on diesel as they only seem to car about taxing it to the equivalent dollars travelled per km to petrol, rather than taking into account its environmental benefits.

However, diesels also emit fine particulates which are not good for human health, so they are not a long term sustainable transport option.

PS: Martin Ferguson came back from Saudia Arabia with his tail between his legs, having achieved absolutely nothing to reduce the price of petrol or oil.

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3 comments:

RVB said...

I've rationalised the situation with the analogy that oil is like heroin and we're all addicts. The more we have the more it damages us (and the environment) - so we need to ween ourselves out of it.

Ferguson is my local MP. He's the most useless person in his electorate, I can assure you.

steven trevaskis (aka Travy) said...

Remember KRudd DID NOT START THIS PETROL PROBLEM. The price of petrol started to hurt my family when it was $1:00 p/l . Who was PM then?
A lot of people rely on cars. Tradies , Farmers and most country people. Reducing petrol usage is NOT A OPTION for a lot of people. Our MPs are in bed with the oil companies.

Peter Campbell said...

travy,

I agree that Kevin Rudd did not start the petrol problem. Successive Australian governments, both Labor and Liberal, have essentially done nothing to prepare us for low carbon and petrol free transport options. They have been asleep at the wheel, and in the thrall of the roads and fossil fuel lobbies.

Unfortunately now we all have to suffer - both those that drive cars and truckss - and everyone that has to pay higher prices for almost everything - because oil is used to extensively in manufacturing and transport of goods.

It is high time our MPs and governments got out of bed with the oil and coal companies and funded some genuine low carbon transport options - see Greening Australian Transport for more information on what can be done