Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


New Zealand should prepare urgently for coming oil shortages

New Zealand should prepare urgently for coming oil shortages

It may be a very serious mistake to assume that oil will continue to be readily available, Bruce Robinson a Peak Oil expert said today.

Trouble in the Middle East, such as Iran being bombed, might cause a sudden world oil shortage, as 20% of the world’s oil is shipped from the Persian Gulf, through the narrow Strait of Hormuz.

As well, global oil shortages are likely, perhaps within 5 years. Existing giant oilfields are now declining faster than new fields are being discovered. Peak Oil will cause substantial disruptions to automobile dependent countries. The on-going hype in the US and now in Australia about shale oil is unlikely to change the overall picture.

Mr. Robinson is Convenor of ASPO-Australia, the Association for the Study of Peak Oil, and vice-president of ASPO-International.

He said a major opportunity for NZ was the proposed national transport SmartCard, which should also include provision for petrol rationing and public transport rationing, to prepare for the risk of fuel shortages. Petrol rationing should allocate scarce fuel efficiently and equitably. Rationing by price would cripple farming communities, for example. An electronic card-based system is the only transparent way of allowing people with different needs, such health problems or a crucial job, to have access to fuel ahead of people who could easily ride a bike, or catch public transport. If say 25% of motorists wanted to change to public transport, existing bus and train capacity would be overwhelmed, so if fuel rationing is needed, public transport rationing is also required.

Expanding public transport and bicycle facilities and securing and expanding train lines are vital steps. More important is informing people to prepare in case future fuel shortages arrive much sooner than generally expected.

An Australian CSIRO economic modeling Future Fuel Forum in 2008 had a worst case scenario of $8/litre fuel by 2018. Since then the GFC has curbed oil consumption worldwide, but the underlying risk still remains. A suppressed 2009 report by Australia’s Bureau of Infrastructure Transport and Regional Economics estimated, like many other studies, global oil shortages starting in 2017. A valuable research paper “The next oil shock?” was released in October 2010 by the NZ Parliamentary Library, but it has been overlooked by transport planners. The UK Industry Taskforce on Peak Oil and Energy Security reported “We will face an Oil Crunch in the next five years. We have time to prepare, but the challenge is to use the time well”.

NZ, like Australia, has no separate strategic fuel reserve, and we are assuming the oil tankers will continue to come regularly. International shortages will see tankers diverted elsewhere and we cannot rely on “business-as-usual” planning. Advance preparation will be essential, but “Optimism Bias” is clouding judgements, Mr Robinson said.

New Zealand people prepare for floods and earthquakes, but there is no serious preparation in case fuel shortages happen. There is a great deal that can be done to reduce the impact of future fuel shortages, but preparations need to be started now. Leaving things till a crisis hits will be too late.
ends
=

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Tokenism Of New Zealand's Role Against Islamic State

To date, the Opposition has continued to occupy itself with the marginalia of the issue. E.g. whether Key did or didn’t know whether Barack Obama would be present at the US briefing last week on IS, or whether New Zealand’s military involvement is or isn’t already a fait accompli.

It might be better to tackle the issue, head on. Our contribution against IS will be to send SAS forces to train the Iraqis? That’s like offering trainers to General Custer just as the 7th cavalry reached the Little Big Horn.
More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Scoop Business: Shell And Todd Caught Drilling Without Approval

Multi-national oil company Shell’s New Zealand arm and local energy giant Todd Energy have breached the new law governing New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone, the Environmental Protection Authority says in an Oct. 10 document released by the Green Party. More>>

ALSO:

Labour: Tea Breaks 'Gone By Lunch Time'

“How cynical that on the eve of Labour weekend, the National government is pushing through legislation that takes away the statutory right to tea and meal breaks along with collective bargaining protections, and makes vulnerable workers jobs even less secure." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Pharmac, Gough Whitlam And Sleater-Kinney

We’re not at the outset of these negotiations. The outset was six years ago, and negotiators were hoping to have some sort of ‘framework’ deal finished in time for the APEC meeting in a few weeks’ time. These ‘extreme’ positions are what we’ve reached near the intended end of the negotiations… More>>

ALSO:

PM Of Many Hats: Questions, No Answers On Whale Oil

Dr RUSSEL NORMAN (Co-Leader – Green) to the Prime Minister: How many times since November 2008 has he spoken with blogger Cameron Slater on the phone and how many times, if any, has he texted him?
Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): None in my capacity as Prime Minister. More>>

ALSO:

Aussie Investigation Dropped: Call On Minister McCully To Pursue The Case Of Balibo Five

West Papua Action is deeply concerned at the lack of any clear outcome from the Australian Federal Police inquiry into the 1975 deaths of the ‘Balibo Five’ including NZ journalist Gary Cunningham. More>>

ALSO:

'Feed The Kids' Bill: Metiria Turei To Lead Fight On Feeding Hungry Children

Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Today: State Opening Of Parliament

The House sat at 10.30am on Tuesday before MPs were summoned to hear the Speech from the Throne in the Legislative Council Chamber. More>>

ALSO:

Tertiary Education: Students Doing It Tough As Fees Rise Again

The Government is making it increasingly difficult for Kiwis to gain tertiary education as fees continue to rise and access to student support becomes even more restricted, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. More>>

ALSO:

Housing, Iraq: PM Press Conference – 20 October 2014

Prime Minister John Key met with press today to discuss:
• Housing prices and redevelopment in Auckland
• Discussions with Tony Abbott on the governmental response to ISIS, and New Zealand’s election to the UN Security Council More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news