The Government energy policies are coming under scrutiny at a time when it is also defending high Petrol Prices:
This week the Government stonewalled public concern about high fuel costs, its belief in market forces transcending its populism. Even those who agree that cutting fuel excise is not the answer say there's a lot the Government should be doing but isn't.So when do we know to start knocking off the neighbourhood cats to process into kitty-diesel?
"The price of oil is key," said Dr John Wright, head of CSIRO's Energy Futures Forum. "At $US70 [$91] a barrel we can make biofuels and liquid fuels out of gas cost-effectively. But if it drops back to $US50 a barrel the economics get dicey at that point."And the big picture? Who knows where we should be? Check out Greg Bourne's credentials; he has danced with the devils and slept with the angels ...
Wright's personal view is that the Government should set a price on carbon emissions, which would reduce the risk of investing in renewables and wean the economy off its dependence on oil, particularly for land transport.
The former president of BP Australasia, Greg Bourne, who is now head of World Wildlife Fund-Australia, said rigid free-market orthodoxy could be dangerous if it inhibited policies aimed at reducing dependence on expensive imports and building energy security.Put that in your exhaust pipe and smoke it.
"Greater energy security and resilience to oil shocks requires political leadership," Bourne said. "We need tax and other incentives to make people use more gas at home and in our cars. Bringing North-West Shelf gas onshore for domestic use is probably the most important option we have to rapidly build resilience."