Monday, March 05, 2007

NZH Editorial on Biofuels

here.
The summary? Biofuels may be a good option but it's a complex problem. Maybe the best option is to not do anything for a few years and see how it plays out.
Ah, the kiwi spirit in all its glory. In fact, it's quite close to the core on this one. Biofuels taken out of context is irrational. What's the point in substituting one fuel for another when a lot of the problems are car-oriented not just fuel-oriented? Without considering land use patterns and letting people get to work in a reasonable time via public transport, all you're doing is exacerbating the congestion problem.
If you were serious about car pollution, double the cost of petrol over the next 5 years and re-distribute the income into biofuel subsidies, R&D and public transport. Petrol price will do more to change car use behaviour and urban sprawl than any of the think tank white papers.
Repeat. By 2025 you'd see some serious behavioural change. But maybe the AA, NZR and NZOG wouldn't like that?

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