Monday, January 23, 2012

Keystone Kops halt US-Canada pipeline, and target another

White House, environmentalists and U.S foundations seek to block all oil sands development. Some little known information about the huge financial investment that US anti-hydrocarbon environmentalist foundations have in this battle

Oilfield workers in Alberta, refinery workers in Texas and countless factory workers just learned that the White House will not allow construction of an oil pipeline that would bring over half a million barrels of oil a day from Canada’s Alberta Province and North Dakota’s Bakken Field to refineries in Texas and Louisiana. The job-killing decision was a victory for radical environmentalists and well-heeled U.S. foundations that have long battled Canadian oil sands companies and the U.S. oil and gas industry.

President Obama says Congress gave him insufficient time to examine environmental issues. TransCanada Keystone Pipeline LP can reapply, he added, if it reroutes the pipeline around Nebraska’s Oglala Aquifer and Sand Hills area and addresses other concerns. In the meantime, the Administration insists, the project “would not serve the national interest.”

Project supporters called the President’s decision “preposterous,” and urged Congress to craft a way to gain approval without White House involvement.

“The rationales for rejecting the project are nothing but dissembling, red herrings and hot air,” CFACT policy advisor Paul Driessen commented. “They are as credible as a Keystone Kops movie.”

The application for this project and pipeline route was submitted in 2008, Driessen noted. The Administration has had ample time to review every aspect. “This is the same White House that demanded passage of a healthcare bill that no one in Congress had a chance to read, much less study and understand, before it was presented for final vote. To claim that two months was not enough time to study a proposal that had already been studied three years is absurd,” he said.

The Keystone XL project would ensure jobs, affordable energy and national security, which Mr. Obama insists he supports. His rejection demonstrates that his real goal is to reduce energy supplies, raise energy prices, and destroy jobs that are not part of the Administration’s government-subsidized and directed “green jobs” agenda, Driessen and others say. Moreover, dozens of pipelines already cross the Oglala region; another well-designed pipeline would hardly pose an unacceptable threat.

Even the Washington Post editorial board says “Obama’s Keystone pipeline rejection is hard to accept” – especially coming one day after the President said the United States still needs inexpensive hydrocarbon energy, pipelines and a strong energy infrastructure. Quoting from government reports, the Post noted that the pipeline would have “limited adverse environmental impacts.”

Few Americans or Canadians were surprised by the announcement. TransCanada spokesman Jim Prescott had previously told a Houston newspaper, “It has become a political piƱata ... that the activist community and environmental community have used to drive a larger … anti-oil agenda.”

Killing Keystone is just one part of a grand strategy that includes closing off Asian and U.S. markets from the oil; banning exploration and production across Canada and the United States; and even shutting down existing operations that radical greens call “blood oil,” in an insulting comparison to diamond mining in African regions torn by conflict and brutality.

Indeed, the same coalition fighting the Keystone project has spent hundreds of millions of dollars from U.S. foundations to shut down Canada’s entire vital and profitable oil sands oil operation – even though it increasingly uses less water and energy, emits less pollution and carbon dioxide, and relies more on in situ steam injection than surface mining. Radical environmentalists also oppose Canada’s Northern Gateway pipeline from Alberta to the Pacific coast, to facilitate shipment by tanker to Asia.

Canada’s government recently began public hearings on the Northern Gateway proposal. Opponents won a major victory when Chief Hearing Officer Sheila Leggett, Vice Chair of Canada’s National Energy Board, decided to let foreign citizens, foreign lobbyists and even foreign governments take part in what will now likely be a protracted and rancorous public hearing circus.

“The world’s Canada-bashers laughed [at Leggett’s decision], then signed up to testify,” Ezra Levant observed in the Calgary Sun. “Almost 5,000 of them have signed up, including Hugo Chavez’s state-owned oil company CITGO, foreigners from Uruguay to Louisiana to Italy to Austria, Captain Jack Sparrow,” and somebody called “Cave Man.”

“But the biggest threat isn’t the clowns,” Levant added. “It’s the well-paid foreign professional lobbyists who used Leggett’s weakness to take over the process – pros like the New York-based Rockefeller Foundation,” which Levant says spent $200,000 to hire the West Coast Environmental Law Foundation to try to block development of the pipeline and tanker port. But that is just the tip of the iceberg!

Vivian Krause, writing in Canada’s Financial Post, says the thinking behind U.S. funding against Canadian oil was explained in a 2007 strategy paper, “Design to win: Philanthropy’s role in the fight against global warming,” funded largely by the Hewlett Foundation. Even earlier, Hewlett had paid Tides Canada to develop a strategic plan to fight oil and gas development in British Columbia.

Overall, Krause reports, U.S. foundations alone granted at least $300 million over the last decade to various environmental organizations and campaigns in Canada; half went to three campaigns. The Pew Foundation (heirs to Sun Oil!) gave $57 million to the Boreal Forest Initiative, which seeks to place fully one-third of Canada into protected areas and parks – off limits to logging, mining, hydroelectric, new roads, and oil and gas production, while accommodating traditional hunting, fishing and gathering.

Through the George & Betty Moore Foundation, Intel founder George Moore worked with Tides Canada to give $30 million to First Nations to create a Pacific North Coast Integrated Management Area, which targets only that small part of the north coast of B.C. that includes the proposed oil tanker port site. The Great Bear Rainforest Initiative seeks to set aside 21 million hectares (52 million acres – the equivalent of Kansas) from Vancouver Island to Alaska, supposedly to protect the Kermode bear (aka Great Spirit Bear) but really to serve as the Great Trade Barrier against oil exports to Asia.

First Nation groups have received at least $50 million from U.S. foundations, Krause reports, ostensibly to lead the fight against oil pipelines. A newly emerging big player is the Sea Change Foundation, funded by Jim and Nathaniel Simons of Renaissance Technologies LLC, a $15 billion hedge fund.

Terence Corcoran of Canada’s National Post added that jet-setting, oil-consuming movie celebrities like Robert Redford, James Cameron, Darryl Hannah and Leonardo DeCaprio have also lent their personas to movements “aimed at shutting down large portions of the Canadian economy.” One wonders if they, too, are being paid with “blood money” from U.S. foundations created through wealth accumulated from fossil fuels, mining and other industries now in environmentalist cross-hairs.

Canada Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his Cabinet have taken a far different tack with the Northern Gateway hearings than the White House did with Keystone. While President Obama hemmed and hawed on the central question of whether Keystone XL would be in America’s best interest, Canadian Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver made it clear that his government supports both Gateway and Keystone.

In an unprecedented open letter, Oliver asserted, “For our government, the choice is clear: we need to diversify our markets, to create jobs and economic growth for Canadians.... We must expand our trade with the fast growing Asian economies … to help ensure the financial security of Canadians and their families.”

Oliver went on to denounce “environmental and radical groups” whose goal is “to stop any major project, no matter the cost to Canadian families in lost jobs and economic growth. No forestry. No mining. No oil. No gas. No more hydroelectric dams. These groups ... seek to exploit any loophole they can find, stacking public hearings with bodies to ensure that delays kill good projects. “

Oliver lambasted foreign special interest groups for trying to undermine Canada’s economy, and ridiculed “jet-setting celebrities with some of the largest personal carbon footprints in the world” for daring to “lecture Canadians not to develop our natural resources” and using lawsuits as a last resort to obstruct industrial progress.

The opposition has done its research, invested wisely and heavily, and expects to win. The Harper government has pledged to fight for a prosperous future against the eco-imperialists of Deep Ecology, who use industry-based fortunes to control and hamstring the lives and livelihoods of current and future generations. The stakes are high; our very futures depend on the outcome of these twin battles.

President Obama must face the very real likelihood that the radicals he is placating over Keystone XL will be unable to block oil shipment to China or elsewhere in Asia. The net result will be no American jobs and no environmental gains – not even questionable or imaginary gains.

The oil will be extracted, transported overseas and burned under less rigorous pollution rules and controls, to create better jobs and lives for people across the Pacific Ocean. That will leave Americans with none of the energy or employment benefits that Mr. Obama insists he is committed to creating – and the global environment with none of the land use, air and water quality or climate benefits that the White House proclaims will be its lasting legacy.


Fred Singer replies to a critique of the Durban climate festival

His comment published in Nature in response to a Nature editorial‏ of Dec 15; "The Mask Slips"

"The Nature editorial talks about science and policy in parallel universes. Quite correct – if you mean ‘separate’ and ‘disconnected.’ COP 17 in Durban was never about climate, let alone science. It was all about money: (1) How to assure continuing government careers for 200 delegations, with annual vacations paid by taxpayers. (2) How to transfer $100 billion a year from industrialized nations to LDCs (or more precisely, to their kleptocratic rulers), using “climate justice” or “climate guilt” (depending on who is doing the talking). (3) How to gain a national advantage by setting differential emission limits.

By now it should be obvious that (1) the enshrined temperature limit of +2 degC is based on fiction and has no scientific basis. As an annual global average, climate models tell us, it will mean warmer winter nights in Siberia and Canada; perhaps -35degC instead of -40; and little warming in the tropics. (2) It should also be obvious that even strenuous and economy-killing efforts at mitigation, will have little effect on atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide, let alone on climate. If a demonstration is needed, just look at the lack of warming since 1998, in spite of rapidly rising levels of greenhouse gases.

So, yes, I would agree with the editorial, if properly expanded."


Scare: Unprecedented, man-made trends in ocean’s acidity

Just another modelling exercise and one based on admittedly poor data. Amusingly, it makes a mockery of its own warnings. Its authors say that "anthropogenic CO2 emissions over the last 100 to 200 years have already raised ocean acidity far beyond the range of natural variations". So where is the evidence of harm from that? There is none

Nearly one-third of CO2 emissions due to human activities enters the world’s oceans. By reacting with seawater, CO2 increases the water’s acidity, which may significantly reduce the calcification rate of such marine organisms as corals and mollusks. The extent to which human activities have raised the surface level of acidity, however, has been difficult to detect on regional scales because it varies naturally from one season and one year to the next, and between regions, and direct observations go back only 30 years.

Combining computer modeling with observations, an international team of scientists concluded that anthropogenic CO2 emissions over the last 100 to 200 years have already raised ocean acidity far beyond the range of natural variations. The study is published in the January 22 online issue of Nature Climate Change.

The team of climate modelers, marine conservationists, ocean chemists, biologists and ecologists, led by Tobias Friedrich and Axel Timmermann at the International Pacific Research Center, University of Hawaii at Manoa, came to their conclusions by using Earth system models that simulate climate and ocean conditions 21,000 years back in time, to the Last Glacial Maximum, and forward in time to the end of the 21st century. They studied in their models changes in the saturation level of aragonite (a form of calcium carbonate) typically used to measure of ocean acidification. As acidity of seawater rises, the saturation level of aragonite drops. Their models captured well the current observed seasonal and annual variations in this quantity in several key coral reef regions.

Today’s levels of aragonite saturation in these locations have already dropped five times below the pre-industrial range of natural variability. For example, if the yearly cycle in aragonite saturation varied between 4.7 and 4.8, it varies now between 4.2 and 4.3, which – based on another recent study – may translate into a decrease in overall calcification rates of corals and other aragonite shell-forming organisms by 15%. Given the continued human use of fossil fuels, the saturation levels will drop further, potentially reducing calcification rates of some marine organisms by more than 40% of their pre-industrial values within the next 90 years.

“Any significant drop below the minimum level of aragonite to which the organisms have been exposed to for thousands of years and have successfully adapted will very likely stress them and their associated ecosystems,” says lead author Postdoctoral Fellow Tobias Friedrich.

“In some regions, the man-made rate of change in ocean acidity since the Industrial Revolution is hundred times greater than the natural rate of change between the Last Glacial Maximum and pre-industrial times,” emphasizes Friedrich. “When Earth started to warm 17,000 years ago, terminating the last glacial period, atmospheric CO2 levels rose from 190 parts per million (ppm) to 280 ppm over 6,000 years. Marine ecosystems had ample time to adjust. Now, for a similar rise in CO2 concentration to the present level of 392 ppm, the adjustment time is reduced to only 100 – 200 years.”

On a global scale, coral reefs are currently found in places where open-ocean aragonite saturation reaches levels of 3.5 or higher. Such conditions exist today in about 50% of the ocean – mostly in the tropics. By end of the 21st century this fraction is projected to be less than 5%. The Hawaiian Islands, which sit just on the northern edge of the tropics, will be one of the first to feel the impact.

The study suggests that some regions, such as the eastern tropical Pacific, will be less stressed than others because greater underlying natural variability of seawater acidity helps to buffer anthropogenic changes. The aragonite saturation in the Caribbean and the western Equatorial Pacific, both biodiversity hotspots, shows very little natural variability, making these regions particularly vulnerable to human-induced ocean acidification.

“Our results suggest that severe reductions are likely to occur in coral reef diversity, structural complexity and resilience by the middle of this century,” says co-author Professor Axel Timmermann.”


The Frackin' Democrats

For every reasonable and responsible solution America comes up with to solve a problem, the frackin' Democrats have to come up with a hysterical response to stop it. Take hydraulic fracturing...

CatFish John wrote: 50 years from now water is going to be more precious than both oil and gas but you know who cares about our children and our children's children. - in response to Scientists Discover Gassy Liberal Pseudo-Science

Dear Comrade CatFish,

Water is always more precious than oil and gas. But we’ve been using oil and gas for over a century and we still have clean water here in the US. It wasn’t oil and gas that killed the Chesapeake Bay.

Liberals always have to act like the sky is falling, because they can’t rely on facts to back them up.

I don’t think we’ll run out of water, any more than the world will deflate from drilling for oil and gas or Guam will tip over from too many people.

Mark Twain once said that he felt about one of his books probably the same way that the Almighty felt about the world: “The fact is, there is a trifle too much water in both.”

Sons of Liberty wrote: The only poll I trust is the one that will be conducted on Nov. 6, 2012. And from past experience working the elections I'm not too optimistic that this President will be voted out of office. I've worked the elections for 6 years now and since then I have wondered if this republic can ever be saved. Example: out of more than 700 registered voters in my district only 100 to 150 voters show up to vote EVERY election cycle, from local to national elections. - in response to With Keystone XL, Obama Mask Slips on Jobs, Energy

Dear Liberty,

Six years isn’t that many election cycles.

I would say that it’s about the normal amount of time it takes the average voter to get completely disgusted with the party in power.

In this case that means disgust with the Democrats.

In 2008, voter turnout was the highest it’s been since 1968 at 56.8 percent of the population. 

The good news is that if you want voter turnout to increase in your district, you only have to contact those 700 voters once during the preceding 30 days prior to the election. If you break it down by households, it probably comes out closer to 400-500 households. That means that you only have to make 17 phone calls per day to voters in your district to positively affect the outcome.

Call your local party for the resources to contact your neighbors.

Ibuh wrote: Here we go again: spreading misinformation about the Keystone pipeline. Preserving the lies that cancelling that pipeline will result in decreased supply of Canadian oil to the US and increased oil prices. - in response to With Keystone XL, Obama Mask Slips on Jobs, Energy

Dear Comrade Ibuh,

If that’s not true than why is the Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper threatening to sell the oil to China?

I would think that maybe he knows something- actually many things- about this that you don’t.  In fact, I would guarantee that he knows more about most things than you do.

“Prime Minister Harper expressed his profound disappointment with the news,” that Obama scuttled the Keystone pipeline. “He indicated to President Obama that he hoped that this project would continue given the significant contribution it would make to jobs and economic growth both in Canada and the United States of America.”  

He went on to say that since the US didn’t want the oil, Canada was looking to sell the oil to someone else.

Here goes that whacky Canadian Prime Minister “telling lies again” about Canadian oil.  

Beachgoer wrote: I find it very hypocritical that the president can visit Disney and call for more tourism to boost the economy but slams the door on the pipeline. My business runs on gasoline. I will not be voting to re-elect!! - in response to Expecting the Worst from President Hypocrite

Dear Beachgoer,

That’s because Obama knows as much about economics as Ibuh does.

Lon wrote: Yeah why did he make this divisive decision now? I mean besides because Republicans insisted on his making it now before they agreed to a two month extension of the payroll tax cut. - in response to Expecting the Worst from President Hypocrite

Dear Comrade Lon,

Actually this is the second time that Obama punted on making a decision. His first error was completely unforced by the GOP. In fact, it was probably Democrat-on-Democrat crime that put Obama in this mess to begin with.  

He has had the opportunity to make the decision since the State Department, run by Hillary Clinton, first gave the seal of approval to the pipeline back at the end of the summer.

From HuffPo:

On Friday, the State Department issued its final Environmental Impact Statement, concluding that the proposed 1,700-mile pipeline would have "no significant impact" on the environment and recommending that the project move forward, despite warnings from environmental groups that, among other things, the project would help accelerate the warming of the planet.

Just goes to show you that Hillary has a pair, and Obama does not.

Kilgore Trout wrote: I was curious where your figure of 200,000 jobs comes from. The only place I could find that figure was from the U.S Chamber of Commerce which is a conservative lobbying group. TransCanada itself stated that figure would be more like 20,000 temporary US Jobs with permanent jobs ranging in the hundreds. - in response to Expecting the Worst from President Hypocrite

Dear Comrade Kilgore,

The US Chamber, according to CBS News, says 250,000 permanent jobs. Congress has cited 20,000 construction jobs plus another 130,000 ancillary jobs. Meanwhile, Cornell University, in a flight of fancy, has said that Keystone construction “may actually destroy more jobs than it generates.” But that says more about liberal economists than it does about how many jobs the pipeline would create.

Six percent ($533 billion in payroll) of all labor income in the United States and 5.3 percent of all jobs are either directly tied to or support the oil and gas business. Some of the supporting industries include Services, Wholesale and Retail Trade, Finance, Insurance, Real Estate, Rental and Leasing, Manufacturing, Transportation and Warehousing, Information, Construction, Agriculture, Utilities and Mining. The jobs are good paying, technical positions too.

When you figure in that Keystone will supply another million barrels of oil of the 19 million barrels the US uses- or more than a 5 percent increase- you are looking at a substantial boost to the economy. That’s $350 billion in oil. Certainly the number of jobs created by processing half-a-trillion dollars in oil in the US every year will be in the hundreds of thousands of jobs. I think 250,000 jobs is too conservative an estimate.

But the bigger issue, comrade, is that once the Keystone pipeline is operating, the US will begin to exploit is own reserves of oil, which will make it a net exporter of oil and refined product.

That’s what the Keystone issue is about.

As I have pointed out all along, the Keystone issue isn’t about the safety of a pipeline. Obama and enviro-whacko friends know that if they allow Canadian tar sands oil to be developed via the Keystone pipeline, that the US will also start to develop their own tar-sands and shale oil. The US contains well over 600 years of known reserves and that would allow the US to be a net exporter of oil. If that happens, the green economy ruse that the left has sponsored, already reeling from bankruptcies and cronyism, would collapse. It would show that there is no shortage of oil and “green” energy can not compete with fossil fuels.

Mac287 wrote: Our country is America which has purposely been broken into opposing "camps" and never the twain shall about coming together for the betterment of the country we love? Parties winning only signifies country losing as we never seem to work toward everything is a big campaign...whoever wins, we lose as a country. Any politicians out there with character & integrity and the welfare of our country at heart?- in response to UAW, Occupy and Obama Hang Themselves Together

Dear Comrade 287,

Here’s the dead giveaway that liberals are toast the next election.

Whenever they get in trouble they start singing the Rodney King anthem of “Can’t We All Just Get Along?”

When they had Obama and both houses of Congress, it was: “We won” as they shoved Obamacare down our throats.

But, yes, there are politicians with character and integrity who have the welfare of country at heart. But very few of them now reside in the Democrat party.


DDT myths live on

Times-Picayune celebrates DDT myth as history

In celebrating the recovery of the brown pelican population, the New Orleans Times-Picayune writes,

The brown pelican survived a brush with extinction, and the bird was declared healthy in 2009, 39 years after it was placed on the endangered species list. In the 1960s, the pelican had largely disappeared from the Gulf Coast, primarily because of decades of heavy use of the pesticide DDT in agriculture and mosquito control.

But a ban on DDT and efforts to protect pelican nesting sites led to a dramatic comeback for the Louisiana state bird.

Research in the late 1960s proved that DDT, ingested from the fish pelicans ate, caused eggshells to crack prematurely. The chemical was banned in 1972. In its absence, the osprey, the bald eagle and other fish-eating birds also made comebacks.

By November, 2009, the brown pelican population was estimated at about 650,000 in the Gulf Coast, Florida and California…

But the brown pelican had almost disappeared way before DDT came on the scene and then DDT had no effect on the pelican populations.

Check out the following from’s “100 Things You Should Know About DDT“:

92. Brown pelicans declined in Texas from a high of 5,000 birds in 1918 to a low of 200 in 1941, three years before the presence of DDT. [Pearson TG. 1919. Review of reviews. Pp. 509-511 (May 1919); Pearson TG. 1934. Adventures in Bird Protection, Appleton- Century Co., p. 332; Pearson TG. 1934 (Discussion of 1918 survey) National Geographic pp. 299-302 (March 1934); Allen RG. 1935. Auk 52: p.199;]

93. Disappearance of the brown pelicans from Texas was attributed to fisherman and hunters. Gustafson AF. 1939. Conservation in the United States, Comstock Publ. Co., Ithaca, NY. (Repeated in U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Report No. 1, 1970)]

94. Brown pelicans experienced no difficulty in reproducing during the DDT years. [See Banks, RC. 1966. Trans San Diego Soc Nat Hist 14:173-188; and Schreiber RW and RL DeLong. 1969. Audubon Field Notes 23:57-59]

95. Brown pelicans did suffer reproductive problems following the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill. Oil on eggs is a known cause of embryo death. [See e.g., National Wildlife Federation . 1979. Embryonic mortality from oil on feathers of adult birds. Conservation News, pp. 6-10 (October 15, 1979); Hartung, R. 1965. (Oil on eggs reduces hatch ability by 68 percent). J Wildlife Management 29: 872-874; King, KA 1979. (Oil a probable cause of pelican mortality for six weeks after spill). Bull Environ Contam. Toxicol 23:800-805; and Dieter, MP. 1977. (5 micro liters of oil on fertile egg kills 76 percent to 98 percent of embryos within. Interagency Energy-Environment Research and Development Program Report, pp 35-42]

96. Among brown pelican egg shells examined (72 percent), there was no correlation between DDT residue and shell thickness. [Switzer, B. 1972. Consolidated EPA hearings, Transcript pp. 8212-8336; and Hazeltine, WE. 1972. Why pelican eggshells are thin. Nature 239: 410-412]

97. An epidemic of Newcastle disease resulted in millions of birds put to death to eradicate the disease. [United Press International. "Newcastle disease epidemic in California (April 1972)] The epidemic among U.S. birds was caused by the migration of sick pelicans along the Mexican coast. [Hofstad MC. 1972. Diseases of Poultry. Iowa State Univ. Press]


Australia: "Green" gasoline switch to leave 750,000 NSW motorists out of pocket

UP TO 750,000 drivers in NSW will be forced to pay at least $150 more for petrol each year when the government bans regular unleaded petrol in July.

NSW is the only government in Australia to ban regular unleaded petrol and replace it with fuel blended with 10 per cent ethanol.

But modelling by the University of Queensland and the Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce obtained by the Herald shows 25 per cent of NSW cars cannot use ethanol fuel and will be forced to use premium fuel instead.

With support from the Liberal and National parties, the former Labor government passed legislation in 2007 banning unleaded fuel, arguing that ethanol-blended fuel was better for the environment.

The Coalition supported the laws despite the fact that among those bearing the extra cost would be nearly 100,000 NSW motorists who drive cars made before 1986, many of whom live in rural Australia.

Almost all motorcyclists in NSW and drivers of several popular makes and models, such as all Ford Lasers and many Mazdas made before 2005, will also have to pay more as their vehicles cannot run on ethanol-blended petrol.

Anton le Rutte, of the Boat Owners Association of NSW, said most boats would also be unable to use ethanol fuel because it absorbed moisture and disintegrated and had a risk of starting fires in older boats.

At an average extra of 10¢ a litre for premium fuel, the average motorist will be paying $150 more a year. For a car with a 60-litre fuel tank, filling up once a week, it will cost an extra $300 a year.

The study was prepared for the ethanol industry. It used data from 2009 to project that, as of last year, only 75 per cent of 3 million passenger vehicles and motorbikes in NSW would be able to run on ethanol-blended fuel.

The extra cost to be borne by motorists was scarcely mentioned in the parliamentary debate on the legislation.

Tony Kelly, then the minister for rural affairs, said motorists who had to switch to premium unleaded would "enjoy a higher-octane, cleaner-burning fuel".

Andrew Stoner, the Deputy Premier, supported the legislation, despite airing industry concerns that some motorists would have to pay 12¢ a litre more for "nothing other than government policy".

The Energy Minister, Chris Hartcher, did not respond to questions about whether he was concerned about the extra costs motorists would face or whether he had considered policies to offset them.

Kathleen Cash, a graphic designer from Rosebery, was totally unaware that regular unleaded petrol was being phased out and that she would have to pay more for premium fuel.

Ms Cash is thinking about trading in her 1998 Daewoo, which cannot run on ethanol-blended fuel, but her son looks likely to inherit it. "I don't really understand why it's going to cost more for older cars," she said. "I think it's really unfair that people who have older cars have to pay more".



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1 comment:

Bruce said...

Older vehicles can, in fact, "run" on ethanol blended fuel.

There is, as always, a catch.

Ethanol attacks the aluminium and zinc alloy components in the fuel system in particular. The "OH" radical hanging off the ethanol molecule is the culprit.

What happens is that the insoluble hydroxide muck clogs the fuel system and worse, attacks the aluminium alloy heads. When this reaction is occurring at high temperatures and constantly while the engine is running, there would seem to be a problem.

Ethanol was all the go as a fuel additive back in the 1950's and early sixties. Why did that cease? Precisely because from the late 1950's onwards, engine components were increasingly made from aluminium and magnesium alloys to reduce the weight of the vehicle in order to increase fuel efficiency and power-to-weight ratio.

As a way of destroying older cars, like my trusty old '86 Meteor, this is one of their more cunning ploys.