Ethanol as an alternative fuel has created thousands of jobs in rural NSW. It has helped improve the quality of air in our cities and, above all else, provided cheaper fuel for car drivers.
However, it has come at a cost. That cost has been at the expense of petroleum company’s profits. Their greed and contempt for consumers knows no bounds.
When we talk about monopolies, petroleum companies top the list. Through their partnership with major retailers they completely control the fuel market. How else could they increase, then reduce, the price of petrol by up to 30c per litre?
Now petroleum companies are using scare tactics by stating ethanol fuel will increase in price. This is ridiculous given virtually every petrol station in Sydney sells ethanol fuel already, even though they are not forced to do so under current legislation.
Almost three-quarters of passenger and light vehicles on our roads can use ethanol fuel and drivers benefit from a 4c/L reduction in petrol costs. From a small business perspective, if you have the opportunity to sell something the majority of consumers want, you would jump at it. But petroleum companies hate ethanol because they don’t want anyone else taking a small percentage of their precious market. A 6 per cent ethanol-blended fuel does exactly that.
Following the mandating of 6 per cent ethanol in 2007, my local petrol station in Rouse Hill actually closed down the ethanol pumps. A quick telephone call to talkback radio with a reminder $100,000 in fines were applicable changed that almost immediately.
All mass-produced petrol vehicles are capable of using ethanol-blended petrol. To the enthusiasts and nonbelievers, they retain the choice of using non-ethanol products, it’s as simple as that.
The petroleum companies are doing their best at the moment to spread the myth ethanol use is in decline. Memo to petroleum companies: electric hybrids have halved the use of fuel in an average four-cylinder vehicle. Therefore it is only logical that ethanol use has declined and will continue to do so.
But here’s the really bad news for petroleum companies. In 10 years’ time, completely electric vehicles will be mass produced due to the advancements in lithium ion battery technology. Full electric public transport heavy vehicles are being tested right now for use in our cities. So keep whinging, petroleum companies, you won’t have to worry about market share for too much longer – your days are numbered.