Fuel for thought – the future of transport fuels: challenges and opportunities

by frog

Such is the name of a report released today by the Future Fuels Forum, an initiative led by the Australia’s CSIRO Energy Transformed Flagship. The Age summarises the bad news:

PETROL prices could reach $8 a litre [~NZ$10 per litre] within a decade if oil production peaks and Australia is not ready to shift to alternatives, according to a CSIRO analysis.

The new modelling, to be released today, also projects that a rapid decline in oil supply coinciding with a lack of alternative fuel vehicles could force Australians to cut passenger and freight travel by up to 40%.

This would trigger a drop in GDP of at least 3%, with the tourism and mining industries the worst affected.

Russel has responded, saying:

Petrol at that price would make the Government’s entire motorway building project a white elephant – modern day Easter Island statues. Our new motorways would be monuments to short sightedness and profligate waste of resources.

Governments even contemplating building motorways like the billion dollar-plus Transmission Gully project in Wellington or the $2 billion Waterview tunnel project in Auckland are seriously out of touch with reality, Dr Norman says.

We need to rapidly and urgently invest in decent public transport in our cities, towns and provinces. It is expensive but no more so than building useless new motorway projects.

Meanwhile, as Sue Kedgley reported earlier:

Reports today that the cost of Transmission Gully cannot be met by the local and regional councils come as no surprise to the Green Party, Wellington Transport Spokesperson Sue Kedgley says.

The gully route is an insatiable drain on transport funds and no one is willing, or able, to stump up with such vast amounts of money. I predicted this situation just two weeks ago,� Ms Kedgley says.

It was reported yesterday that Wellington’s city council has observed a 20 percent drop in traffic on Wellington roads. Perversely, this is being used as a reason to can planned bus lanes. Yet, those 20 percent of commuters are now on bikes and in buses and trains. And where is the money going? Onto motorways.

It is absurd for the Wellington Mayor to suggest that even more Government funds should be poured into such an obvious white elephant as Transmission Gully.

White Elephant or Easter Island Statue? Either way, the Greens have been telling it like it is for years. How many more reports need to be published before the major parties wake up?

frog says

Published in Environment & Resource Management by frog on Fri, July 11th, 2008   

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