Tuesday, August 15, 2006

PM's response to Peak Oil: Billion dollar giveaway: The central proposal is to subsidise the conversion of cars to LPG, and subsidies petrol stations of make ethanol blends (E10) available, but not to mandate ethanol.

I suppose the temptation to give money away is irresistible when it is not your money and it makes you look good for a day, but one wonders whether this is an appropriate allocation of public funds, or a politically motivated giveaway. What is needed as a matter of the highest urgency is energy conservation, renewable energy and investment in public transport, particularly rail.

In recent testimony before the Australian Senate, Dr Bakhtiari warned that peak oil at 81 million barrels per day was upon us now, with production expected to fall to around 55mbpd by 2020. This obviously has profound implications for the price of liquid fuels and the future of automobile transport. Has Mr Howard considered this at all? Or does he simply not have any correct information about the subject, just like how he (apparently) had no correct information about the state of Saddam's weapons and the decision to go to war.

Whether government advisors fail utterly in their role, or the Prime Minister more or less instructs them not to inform him of certain matters, or the Prime Minister simply tells falsehoods - it would be hard to imagine a person more unfit for the responsibility of government who cannot comprehend and act upon an accurate assessment of fundamentally important matters such as war and energy.

Dr Bakhtiari also expressed surprise at the long term gas deals Australia has signed with China. Its been said the price is around 5c a litre - a giveaway of staggering proportions, and yet Mr Howard boasts he is making Australia into an 'energy superpower'.

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