Water Week

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Qld arm of Australian Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas questions fuel subsidy; warns of ‘serious economic’ hit as oil and food markets compete

Posted by waterweek on 18 September 2007

Australian Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas Brisbane spokes­man Stuart McCarthy warned of “tough (and expensive) decisions” to avoid a serious economic hit. “What we’d like to see come out of the McNamara report (by new Queensland Minister for Sustainability Andrew McNamara) is a big re-po­sitioning of funding for public trans­port,” McCarthy said, reported The Courier Mail (15/9/2007, p.16). He also warns that bio-fuels such as ethanol and bio-diesel, while useful, were no substitute for oil.

Food versus fuel: “As fuel costs rise, so does the price of feedstock for basic foodstuffs, as bio­fuel producers compete with food companies for raw materials. As McCarthy puts it: “The energy and food markets are merging as the bio­fuel industry competes for food.” He also questioned the viability of State Government schemes such as the fuel subsidy, arguing that such artificial price mechanisms ultimately contribute to the problem, “and perhaps we have to rethink that paradigm”.

The Courier Mail


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