Thursday, June 16, 2022

UK: Cost to fuel a truck is up £20,000 a year, says haulage boss

The RAC has warned petrol and diesel could reach £2 a litre
Soaring fuel prices have put the haulage industry in crisis with the cost of running one lorry up £20,000 on last year, a freight boss has said.

Lesley O'Brien, director of Freight Link Europe, said "pretty much everything you buy comes on the back of a truck" so customers were paying more.

Her comments come as the RAC said it now costs £98 to fill the average car with petrol and £101.86 with diesel.

The motoring group has called for "radical government intervention".

Latest figures from the RAC show the average cost of a litre of petrol rose from 177.88p on Sunday to 178.50p on Monday - a rise of 0.6p in 24 hours.

Over the same period, the average diesel price rose from 185.01p to 185.20p.

RAC fuel spokesperson Simon Williams said: "Drivers need to brace themselves for average fuel prices rocketing to £2 a litre which would mean a fill-up would rise to an unbelievable £110.

"We strongly urge the government to take drastic action to help soften the impact for drivers from these never-before-seen pump prices."

Motorists have been hit by record pump prices since Russia's invasion of Ukraine led to an increase in the cost of oil because of supply fears.

In March, the government cut fuel duty by 5p a litre. It said this would save a car driver on average £100 a year, a van driver £200 and hauliers £1,500.

In some circumstances, haulage firms and other transport businesses can reclaim 100% of VAT on fuel paid for business purposes via HMRC.

Ms O'Brien told the BBC's Today programme: "This certainly is a crisis as we've seen fuel prices escalate over the last year by 50% and no sight of a stop, so we absolutely as an industry need to keep on top of this.

"As a country we need to understand we need to support our transport industry which is the infrastructure of the whole economy," she said.

Ms O'Brien said fuel was a third of her business' running costs. This time last year, it would cost about £41,000 a year in fuel for an average articulated lorry at her company, but with prices soaring it now costs more than £61,000 a year.

She explained that her company added a fuel surcharge to its bills, to cover fluctuating prices.

"But never before has it been so high," she said. "As an example, to run one of my artic vehicles is now costing me £20,000 more per year than in did last year."

'It's just crazy'

Another firm, Countrywide Coaches told the BBC it had had to sell two coaches due to the rising price of diesel.

Director Olivia Bell from Countrywide Coaches said she had tried to mitigate rising diesel costs by putting up prices for some of her school customers - but parents ended up pulling their children off the school trip altogether.

Her family-run company is now down to 14 coaches, catering to schools, private and military staff trips.

"Since September's price rise, we are paying an extra £2,000 per week in fuel costs. So we are hitting Plan B by selling coaches," she added.

Rod McKenzie, from the Road Haulage Association (RHA), said: "Fuel represents over a third of a trucks operating costs yet profit margins are between 1% and 2%.

"To put this into perspective, the average 44 tonne truck gets less than two miles from a litre of fuel. That's why every penny increase makes a massive difference and as such, every penny must be made to count."

Some 30% of fuel costs are duty taxes and the RHA wants the government to return this to "essential users" such as hauliers and coach operators. They could then lower their prices to customers, the RHA said.

Ms O'Brien said: "If we help the haulage industry and we have an essential user rebate we will help everybody because pretty much everything you buy comes on the back of a truck and we will be able to pass that on to the end user."

The spiralling cost of fuel had added to pressures including a driver shortage, subsequently high salaries and an increase in companies' national insurance payments, she said.

On top of that there was an increase in lorry maintenance costs and a shortage of new lorries and parts due to a global shortage of chips.

Meanwhile, a plan to name and shame petrol stations that fail to pass on a cut in fuel duty is "still in the works", a government source has told BBC News.

A formal announcement had been expected last week, but it is understood officials at the Department for Transport are yet to finalise the policy


Germany’s Fridays For Future Spokesperson: “We’re Planning How To Blow Up” African Oil Pipeline!

Rich, privileged (white) eco-fanatic says her group is thinking about “how to ” blow up huge African oil pipeline!

Most of Europe’s climate activists come from rich families, who lavish in all the amenities the fossil fuel economy offers. No exception to this are Sweden’s Greta Thunberg, and Luisa “Longhaul” Neubauer of Germany.

Not only are they spoiled rich, leading pampered lives, but they’re also becoming dangerously fanatic it appears and even feel entitled to tell poor countries what they can and cannot have.

Recently Longhaul Luisa, spokesperson for Fridays for Future Germany, posted Sunday on Instagram with her Fridays for Future mates joking how right now they are planning on how to blow up” an African oil pipeline that will immensely improve the lives of among the world’s most needy.

“Of course we are thinking about how to blow up” the longest crude oil pipeline in the world, she professed on Instagram on Sunday.

Much needed Uganda-Tanzania pipeline

In the posted video, Neubauer is referring to the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP). The EACOP is currently under construction and, once completed, will transport crude oil from Uganda to Tanzania. It will be around 1,400 kilometers long and deliver around 216,000 barrels of oil per day.

We assume that Luisa and her crazed FFF radical group would be content to see poor Africans be denied even just a tiny fraction of the pampered life she herself is privileged to follow. She tells of the pipeline in the video: We’re going to stop that one.”


UK Car industry in shock and fuel prices climb as government scraps all grants for electric vehicles

Motoring groups have criticised the government’s decision to scrap subsidies for newly purchased electric vehicles (EVs), fearing it could dissuade buyers from entering the market.

In a shocking blow the car industry, the Department for Transport (DfT) has revealed that £1,500 grants for purchases of new electric cars that cost under £32,000 have been ditched.

The DfT argued the “success” of the Plug-in Car Grant means the Government will now “refocus” the funding to encourage users of other vehicles to make the switch to EVs.

Existing applications for the grant “will continue to be honoured”, the DfT added.

Transport minister Trudy Harrison said: “Government funding must always be invested where it has the highest impact if that success story is to continue.”

“Having successfully kickstarted the electric car market, we now want to use Plug-in Grants to match that success across other vehicle types, from taxis to delivery vans and everything in between, to help make the switch to zero emission travel cheaper and easier.”

She argued the Government continues to invest record amounts in the transition to EVs – with £2.5bn injected since 2020 – and that Downing Street has set the most ambitious phase-out dates for new diesel and petrol sales of any major country.

Downing Street has targeted 2030 for the phasing out of new petrol and diesel car sales in the UK.

However, motoring groups have suggested this target will be difficult to achieve without the support of grants;

The AA has slammed the decision, warning that many motorists being forced to wait for a new EV due to global supply constraints will lose out.

Its president Edmund King said the grants were “essential for many drivers making the switch from petrol and diesel.”

He said: “The plug has been pulled at the wrong time on this important grant before many users, still waiting for delayed EVs due to global shortages, have made the change. Drivers, and indeed many fleets, planning to make the switch to EV, may now back out until they can find more cash.”

Rival motoring group RAC also questioned the move, raising concerns lack of financial support for aspiring EV owners could stifle the UK’s green ambitions.

Head of policy Nicholas Lyes said: “The UK’s adoption of electric cars is so far impressive but in order to make them accessible to everyone, we need prices to fall – having more on the road is one important way of making this happen, so we’re disappointed the Government has chosen to end the grant at this point. If costs remain too high, the ambition of getting most people into electric cars will be stifled.”

Sales of fully electric new cars have risen from fewer than 1,000 in 2011 to nearly 100,000 in the first five months of 2022/

This suggests EVs are finally breaking into the mainstream, with sales outstripping diesel vehicles last year.

Petrol prices reach new heights as CMA reviews retail markets
The scrapping of EV grants comes amid skyrocketing forecourt prices, with petrol prices climbing to new highs in Tuesday’s trading.

The average price of a litre of petrol at UK forecourts reached a new record of 185.4p yesterday -an increase of 6.9p in just a week.

This follows a 10p hike in petrol prices in May.

Concerns over prices at the pumps has led to the Competition and Markets Authority launching a review of the retail market, with Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng raising concerns that the five pence fuel duty cuts are not being passed on to consumers.

Tom Hatton, head of product management at analytics group Kalibrate told City A.M. petrol retailers are not engaging in wholesale profiteering despite record forecourt prices,

Instead, he suggested fuel vendors were ramping up prices for consumers in line with higher wholesale costs more quickly than they did in the past, with retailers more cautious amid soaring oil prices and geopolitical volatility.

He argued: “We have not seen cumulative rises like this for years and years.”


The Dark Ages for Australian energy

When the sun finally sets on the West, the English-speaking peoples will find out that they are as fragile and expendable as the starving third-world children used by aid organisation to pick pockets.

Modernity is held together by cheap energy, not the rainbow-padding nonsense of progressive politics that does little but catch fire on the frayed wires of civilisation, much like Rudd’s notorious pink batts.

Yesterday, millions of Australian homes on the east coast were told to switch off non-essential appliances after blackouts began and extended short-falls loomed. Energy suppliers cautioned the affluent Teal-heartland of Sydney’s Northern Beaches that they were at risk of losing power as temperatures plunged. Suggestions such as ‘consider how many rooms need to be heated’ were made, presumably targeted to the mansion-dwelling community who voted to put ‘Climate Change’ above energy security.

Green-tinged Queensland suffered a similar problem, with the situation so concerning that the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) put in place a $300-per-megawatt-hour price cap.

As a result, everyone is turning to gas suppliers in a panic, demanding that gas companies ‘find gas’ and offer it at ‘low prices’ – or else? This would be after the government went out of its way to deny the gas industry in favour of their preferred ‘renewables’ mates. The gas industry is unsurprisingly reluctant to help out, considering they require $500-per-megawatt-hour to profit.

As a side note, the insists, ‘Output of oil and gas in developed nations needs to be cut by 74 per cent by 2030, with a complete phase-out by 2034.’ That is going to be tricky with renewables leaning on gas to cover the giant voids in output. Basically, if you’re still breathing, somewhat warm, and well-fed – you’re probably a burden to the climate goal.

Back in the real world, if governments and energy suppliers are begging people to turn off their toasters, it’s a good thing the Australian population ignored Labor’s demands to switch to electric vehicles or we’d be waking up to streets littered with expensive, useless cars.

The price cap has created its own problem, with the Australian Energy Regulator issuing a letter to power generators instructing them to ‘bid capacity into the market’ regardless of the cap as blackouts threaten across the country. The existence of price caps causes energy providers to withhold supply to protect revenue – which is why socialist-style intervention on market prices rarely works. The government gives ‘stuff away for free’ but businesses can’t do that or there will be nothing for tomorrow.

According to an article in The Australian, AER chair Clare Savage had this to say:

‘Recently the AER has observed that following the application of administered pricing in the NEM, generators are withdrawing available capacity from the market. This behaviour may be motivated by generators seeking to avoid the administered pricing compensation process in favour of the AEMO directions compensation process. As you know, market participants must not, by any act or omission, whether intentionally or recklessly, cause or significantly contribute to the circumstances causing a direction to be issued, without reasonable cause.’

New Energy Minister Chris Bowen has done a lot of theatrical waving of his hands, pretending that there’s ‘nothing to see here’ as the country faces an energy crisis.

‘The operator tells them there is no need to be concerned about blackouts in the immediate future,’ Bowen said, giving a speech that should never have to be made in a responsible, first-world nation. ‘Nobody should turn off any power usage that they need, that they are using for their comfort or their safety. Nobody should do that.’

When the energy grid was truly competitive, Australia had reliable, cheap, and plentiful energy. The interference of government has had disastrous consequences, with public money being tossed at ‘renewables’ to make them look more ‘profitable’ when in reality, they are propped up by taxes. Productive energy sources have been punished by severe restrictions on access, expansion, and investment. Banks have gone so far as to consider denying loans in the fossil fuel sector to keep green-themed shareholders happy.

The same people who did their best to demonise and dismantle the fossil fuel grid are now complaining about the shutdown of coal-fired plants. Well kids, this is a glimpse of the future promised by Labor, the Greens, Teals, and Liberal moderates.

There is a solution to both ‘climate woes’ and energy security in the form of nuclear energy – a technology for which Australia is uniquely placed to benefit. Labor has given a definitive ‘no’ on nuclear, almost certainly because they felt their green investment portfolio shudder in terror. The introduction of nuclear to the Australian grid erases the need for solar, wind, and battery storage – destroying profits for the ‘green economy’.

At the same time as federal Labor has been out – quite literally – begging coal-fired plants to increase their operation to stave off disaster, Western Australia Labor Premier Mark McGowan has promised to close all state-owned coal-fired plants by 2030 and gift renewables barons $4 billion in public money. He complains that the ‘glut of excess power’ produced by them is costing money – so one is left to wonder why McGowan’s idea of saving $3 billion over ten years involves spending $4 billion.

‘We’re standing at a point where to continue business as usual would lead to around $3 billion of losses by the end of the decade. Those losses either have to be covered by taxpayers or would lead to dramatically higher power bills for West Australians – while still continuing to emit higher levels of carbon emissions. Either way, it’s simply not sustainable in the long term.’

Why not just close the power stations and let the renewables sector expand on its own? Or is it not profitable without a drip attacked to the state coffers…?

No, don’t bother looking for the Liberal Party. It was former-Liberal Leader Zak Kirkup’s idea in the first place. The great news is that Western Australia doesn’t have an extension cord long enough to cross the desert, so McGowan will have nowhere to hide when it all goes horribly wrong.

All this is taking place while bored billionaires purchase coal-fired power stations for fun and shut them down unnecessarily.

The result of closing power plants is a sudden and drastic reliance on gas – of which there isn’t an infinite amount to go around. Shortages are being flagged, even if resources are expanded. Gas was meant to prop renewables up for decades, but the determination for ‘climate action right-now’ is resulting in the ridiculous culling of gas reserves which will, in turn, limit the lifespan of the renewables industry.

This is all complete madness when a few strategically placed nuclear plants could permanently solve the energy crisis with next-to-no emissions. For those who say, ‘oh nuclear is expensive!’ weren’t they telling us that ‘no expense is too much to save the world from extinction?’ We’re not told the total green price tag, but subsidies for renewables alone were set at $11.6 billion in 2021.

The answer is sitting in front of Australia, but governments, the energy industry, and mining companies have no interest in pursuing nuclear until they have dug up and sold every last dollar from other resources that are set to be devalued when the ‘Nuclear Age’ arrives.

Energy supply doesn’t care much for virtue-signalling politics or the ambitions of career politicians. It is a world of engineering absolutes, brick walls, and fail points. Reliable, stable power is essential to sustain the lives of millions of people where even short-lived blackouts pose a serious threat.

Hippy colonies can get away with a few cold nights or a failed market garden by collapsing around a campfire for a bit of weed-induced ‘Kumbaya’ followed by a sneaky trip to the local shops. When the same thing happens to a city, panic takes hold. Investors pull out. Businesses close. The elderly freeze to death.

Covid was not an emergency. Sustained blackouts and a ruined power grid is an emergency.

Any government that chooses to play politics with energy is reckless to the point of criminal. Finally (and just for fun) what happens if Australia finally gets its 100 per cent magnificent wind and solar grid backed up by battery power during the night when there’s no wind?

Uh, blackouts…




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