EDITORIAL: Oils running low, so look for the alternatives

By: Jason Whittaker


Enough is enough. It’s time to get real about fuel prices. The price of diesel, like that of petrol and every

Enough is enough. It’s time to get real about fuel prices.

The price of diesel, like that of petrol and every other oil-based product, will continue to rise. Predictions about oil reaching $200 per barrel (it’s already well above $130) are more about when rather than if. And so it should.

There’s a very good reason why pump prices are rising, a point seemingly lost in the endless debate. As demand for oil from the developing world increases, there’s very little of the stuff left. Peak oil is not a doomsday theory. Oil stocks are at all-time lows.

And as we brazenly burn the last of it, we’re only now starting to realise the devastating effect it’s having on the environment.

The world desperately needs an energy alternative. And the growing price pressure is the most potent trigger to make that happen.

Hybrid technology is one of a number of real alternatives to straight diesel power. ATN has documented successful adoptions of LNG and LPG power across large-scale trucking fleets — a resource rich in our earth but much cheaper to use. And the environmental benefits are substantial.

Operators can train their drivers to ease up the pedal, which alone can cut fuel use by up to 10 percent. Aerodynamic aids on vehicles can make remarkably significant savings. Better scheduling, better planning can make all the difference.

If governments really wanted to reduce the fuel bill of trucking operators they would forget about cutting tax and champion innovation in the sector, promoting the widespread adoption of these genuine fuel alternatives.

The cost of fuel will continue to rise, as any other commodity we have to quickly learn to live without should. Whinging about the price of fuel is a waste of breath. The trucking industry must be part of the solution.

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