One big sigh... (Sarkozy on lowering gas taxes)

Sarkozy: "La demande en produits pétroliers est de plus en plus forte et l'offre n'augmente pas ou très peu"

Sarkozy: "Demand for oil is stronger and stronger and supply is increasing very little, if at all"

When I heard him say this on the radio this morning, and continue by adding that we had to be aware that prices would continue to remain high, I was pleasantly surprised. But that did not last.

[UPDATE, Chris Vernon] Here's Gordon Brown's contribution to the debate.

The European Union should consider capping sales taxes on fuel products if oil prices rise further, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Tuesday, seeking to allay consumer fears about spiralling costs.

Ah, lower taxes on oil are sure going to help solve that "growing demand, stagnant supply" situation, right?

"We can't perpetually have a market where prices rise permanently, to the benefit of producing countries."

Yes. We. Can! (if we continue with our idiotic energy non-policies). I must admit that I am even more amazed at our politicians now that they are making the right descriptions of the energy market (saying, quite correctly, that oil is no longer cheap nor plentiful) - their lack of action when that diagnosis was absent was at least consistent, if irresponsible. Now, the contradictions are just stunning.

Given that voters seem to only care about how much their next gas tank will cost, and can't or won't grasp the consequences of short term fixes, it may be rational for politicians to pander to such denial.

One way or another, it's not going to last. But we're choosing the maximum pain route.

In related news British hauliers are today protesting fuel cost:

Hundreds of lorry drivers angry at soaring fuel prices are travelling in convoy to protests in central London and along the M4 in Wales.

Mike Presneill, of protest group Transaction 2007, said: "Fuel is rocketing. The government has the power to act but appears not to be listening. Hundreds of UK transport firms are being driven to the wall."

Haulage company boss Peter Carroll, another of the protest organisers, told BBC News: "The main thing we're hoping to achieve is to get the government to recognise that this isn't a problem, or even a big problem, it's an absolute crisis."


He said drivers recognised the government could not control global oil prices but said an "essential user" duty rebate of between 20p and 25p per litre for lorries would help firms compete on a "level playing field" with foreign hauliers.
BBC News

And continental fisherman have called an unlimited strike starting later this week, again in protest at fuel cost:

Fishermen in France, Italy, Portugal and Spain have called for an unlimited strike from Wednesday to protest against the rapid rise in fuel costs. They are demanding a reduction in the price of marine diesel so their trawlers can return to sea. One French fisherman said the strike is gaining widespread support: "The Spanish are with us and the Belgians are with us. We're waiting for all the fishermen to be mobilised. And now we're also waiting for the other professions," he said.


The European fishermen are demanding discounted diesel at 40 euro-cents per litre, half the 80 euro-cents they pay now.

Jerome is right, it seems the voters only (understandably) care about their short term costs. This will translate into tremendous pressure on our politicians to “do something” however it’s hard to see what they can to simultaneously pacify the protestors without exacerbating the long term problem.

I for one canonly welcome th relief to the fishing holocaust. The EU controls nothing it seems. They should fish with sail boats and get what they can that way. Mayb a small portion of the natural fish stock can return after some years. PO can only be good in this sense but probably too late. Humanity has done a horrible crime.

Right on Galactic,

... and I for one quite enjoy my protein as beans on toast, as long as I have a jar of chili garlic sauce to go with it. As far as fishing with sail goes it really can be a gas. As a younger guy I spent much time in a small 10 foot sailed skiff trolling and jigging but wouldn't like to think about doing that for a living under sail most particularly now. There just isn't the stock and the last time I was out in small sail boat, after a twenty year absence, it was so disappointing I don't bother to fish any more, still go out for a sail though. And anyway there is also tortillas and beans which is IMO even better than beans on toast:)

Ummmm.... Tortillas are also rising 18%.

I was saddened to se all those truck drivers out there whinging, There industry has no future and they will be out of a job sooner than later, Its like Sarkozy the clown saying, We will continue using steam engines for the SNCF because it would put boiler makers out of work

They are not simply whinging. their livelihood is being destroyed.
Their complaint is not so much about the overall level of fuel costs, as the lack of a level playing field.
Whilst diesel prices vary so much within Europe truckers from other countries can come in using fuel bought at much lower cost.
We need co-ordination in fuel prices, but not as Sarkozny suggested to lower them, but to have a consistently high level.
This is due to poor political decisions, not just an inevitable rise in fuel prices, and the truckers are right to protest the incompetence.

EuroTunnel offers (last time I checked) a special service for British lorries.

Come down to Dover with just your cab (tractor) and we will transport it to France.

Drive less than 1 km on French soil, fill up with cheap French diesel, come back and we will rail you back to England.

It does not sound like France needs cheaper diesel !


Consistently high prices are what is needed, instead of inefficiently crossing the channel for no purpose other than those created by varying tax regimes.
The Channel tunnel should be transporting more goods by rail, not lorries to fill up their tanks.

The point is that (eg. in France) the pain is shunted right down to the little man, the fisher, the small independent truck co., the individual poor commuter, farmer, etc. Greek tanker owners pass the cost right down to their customers (though I have heard they are feeling pain as well) and they limp along. At the end of the chain, as the payees or customers are strapped, the goods and services (fish to the incredulous housewife, trucking charges to the on-the-ropes small manufacturer..) billed can no longer be sold / paid for. So they prefer to demonstrate, or give up and shut down.

Besides that, Sarkozy is a grinning bling-bling buffoon.

"’s hard to see what they can to simultaneously pacify the protestors without exacerbating the long term problem..."

Unfortunately most governments see the long term problem as not their problem but the problem of a future government:-(

A report on the bbc today says "Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling are set to meet oil industry leaders...He says an increase in the supply of oil would lower the price of fuel and ease pressure on the government over the planned tax increases..."

So there you have it, he is interested in easing the pressure on the government and this is just a delaying tactic to show he is listening or "feeling our pain". Of course a large enough increase in supply would lower the cost but as we know this is not possible.

Even those who should know beter are not helping, Vince Cable the economic spokesman for the Liberals (the third party) and a former economist at Shell says "...It may be that the world oil price will fall very substantially in the intervening months..."


"it seems the voters only (understandably) care about their short term costs" the problem is that the voters are not being given a clear and unambiguous message.

They hear the media talking about prices coming down in the future, untapped sources and politicians saying they are going to do something such as Gordon Brown saying "top of the economic agenda for the forthcoming G8 summit in Japan should be a global strategy for addressing the impact of higher oil prices" or free insulation...

IMHO what needs to be said is we are facing a problem such as we have never seen before and we need to take every step possible. These steps should start by making it clear everyone is subject to the same problems, e.g. by completely banning the sale of gas guzzlers within three months thus showing that even rich people are affected.

The politicains best placed to do this are those who will not be reelected such as Bush and almost certainly Brown.

Best hopes for brave and honest politicians.

Well, if the same fishermen had not overfished their fishinggrounds in de last decades, they might still be able to operate economically.

Well, they could be upfront and honest and say fishing is not sustainable, the stock needs to recover anyway and it is an inefficient use of fuel. Then they could provide funding to retrain the fishermen to do something else.

Here in Oz we have the truckies staging a rolling protest (Irony++). This in a country where almost all of the freight is in a narrow north-south route (Mebourne-Brisbane-Cairns) or east-west (Melbourne-Adelaide-Perth), with next to no freight heading anywhere else (Adelaide-Darwin line only carries a few freights a week). There is no logical rationale for the massive long-distance trucking industry to even exist!

(My step-father has raised his prices twice this year already (earthmoving), and is now looking to get out altogether. I've advised him that if he's looking to get out (and he should, it'll wipe away all of his and Mums debts and leave money left over), he should do it soon!)

But in Oz, it seems trucks rule the roost, via the very loud Transport Workers Union. "Without trucks, Australia stops" etc. So we still build huge highway expansions, tunnels, bridges etc for vehicles, but don't bother thinking that maybe, just maybe, the whole paradign is broken and we should be focusing on Public Transport, primarily rail, instead.

Nah, no votes in that.

To some extent, I think that the delusional thinking we are seeing is blowback from ExxonMobil, Saudi Aramco and CERA, et al, asserting that--worst case--we don't have to worry about Peak Oil for decades. These parties are basically giving some degree of credence to the conspiracy theorists.

And dont' forget President Ronald Reagan envisioning "a future without limits," and the public and media lapped it up, and they laughed at President Jimmy Carter who warned all of us about the "catastrophe" of the energy crisis ahead. And then there are those who preached don't worry, there's lots of solar energy, we just need to make a switch... but they forgot to consider that we need liquid fuels.

I think history will not treat kindly that generation of politicians, Reagan, Thatcher et al that pandered to the grossest elements of human nature to get elected and allowed people to believe that there is no limit to how rich we can all get, and no limit to what the planet can supply us with, a mindset that is still very much with us.

Well, I saw a "documentary" called "In the Face of Evil" about Reagan which seemed to me to be the most shameless propaganda I've ever seen though it is much much less skillfully done than "Potemkin". Yet, it was on TV without any comment about its many false claims. You could see though that Jeane Kirkpatrick knew she was lying in her bits. It seems to me that history is going to have a lot of work to do to get past those who worship Reagan as an idol.


cj- the energy crisis ended while reagan was in office. oil dropped like a rock.

there is lots of solar and we can use it. we do need liquid fuels but they aren't going away tomorrow. we still have half our oil left. we can use solar to power our cars...

Of course the energy crisis did not end, it just became a non-issue, that is an important issue that is not on the public agenda.

"""We can use solar to power our cars.""" Hey John, what have you been smoking??????.

Who is going to buy a solar powered car he/she is out of work, the $35,000 SUV is worthless for a trade-in, inflation is rampant, and they can't make the house payments.

Daniel Yergin has an articale in the FT today headlined as Oil has reached a turning point. It's behind a paywall but you can register for free and view

What is now unfolding is an oil shock...

Oil supply, one might think, should be responding. Yet there are three obstacles. The first is time. These high prices have not been around all that long and development of new supplies takes many years. The second is access to new resources. And the third factor is what is happening to costs...

Everything is in short supply – people, equipment, engineering skills...

Demand is already responding to the new prices except in those parts of the world where retail fuel prices are controlled or subsidised. What can be done to improve the supply picture? The International Energy Agency’s work on future supply is getting attention. But the IEA’s message is not that the resources are not there. Rather it is the likely risk that the required investment will be “deferred” – will not take place in a timely way – because of these rising costs and because governments restrict access or postpone decisions...

The break point is already here. Oil is in the process of losing its almost total domination in ground transport...

So no acknowledgement of Peak Oil but a push for more investment and less government restrictions. I detect a bit of passing the buck since he mentions the IEA message rather than CERA whe he says resources are there.

I wonder what exactly he thinks is going to replace oil? Pedal power? Flintstone feet?

electricity will replace oil.

Can apples replace oranges? Electricity (excluding a little hydro, wind, solar) isn't usually considered a primary source of energy. Electricity is just a vector, from which primary energy do you think this oil replacing electricity will be generated from.

I don't think the common man has ever heard of CERA and doesn't know the position of the oil companies. And if they did they have a distrust and dislike of the oil companies. The only authority figure that could possibly convince them that there is an oil problem is the leader of their country. Since most leaders are not talking Peak Oil the common man has no idea what is coming down the pike.

Even people with college degrees are mostly ignorant of the situation. I mentioned Peak Oil to a colleague the other day and gave some details and he asked me if this was some conspiracy theory I was reading about from some fringe group on a website.

Does this imply that French politico's are as stupid as American politico's. On this one issue it appears so.

The price of oil and gasoline has doubled in a very short period of time. Here in the USA gasoline consumption has dropped about 1 percent in the same time period. As long as people keep buying this stuff, the people that have the oil are going to keep raising the prices.

If you really want to stop rising oil prices you just have to build an electric vehicle and fuel it with solar power.

I rode this to work today.

This EV gets its fuel here.

Now it is time for me to get off this computer and back to work on my Electric car.


Heater: Levi Jacket

LOL! Great job though can't wait to see your electric car.

Siwmae (Hiya) Kyle,

Very nice suite of machinery, Kyle. It must make you really happy to have achieved something like this so far ahead of the pack. The techie-optimist side of me just loves this.

Bur -- erm -- the hard-faced-realist side of me asks: "Don't all the technologies that make and maintain all that machinery, and the roads you ride on, depend absolutely on petro-energy -- particularly oil -- to be set up and to be kept running?"

I won't tell you what the ultra-deep-green wilderness-mystic part of me says.

But still, can't help feeling: nice achievement, Kyle!

Cofion gorau (Best remembrances), RhG

Does this imply that French politico's are as stupid as American politico's. On this one issue it appears so.

No ... they just expect America to do all the work for them, and they're complaining America hasn't done so yet.

After all ... America's done all the work in WWII, in the reconstruction, fighting the soviets, securing the mediterranean, ...

"Hop to it, Yankees !" is what the French politico's are saying. Given that they'll be totally unelectable before the year ends, it's probably not a bad strategy ...

America did all the work in WW2? Pardon me? I think the Russians and Brits might have something to say about that.

During WWII, the Eastern Front (facing the Russians/Soviets) required 5 times as many German soldiers as the Western Front (American, Canadians, British etc). Despite this, the Eastern Front moved to Berlin a lot faster than the Western Front.

Oh, by the way, the Americans only started fighting when the Russians and British had been fighting for years.

The Red Army was supported almost entirely by US trucks (the Russians developed a preference for Ford over Chevy), American rations were a large part of the food (the Russians had many obscene jokes about Spam) and a good % of the aircraft were Made in the USA.

The T-34 tank was an American design.

The Americans also supported the British Army, airlifted enough goods over the Himalayas to keep the Chinese Army in the field, developed two different types of nuclear weapons and essentially defeated the Japanese single handedly.

As the old sayings goes "Amateurs debate tactics and strategy, professionals discuss logistics".

American logistics won WW II, on all fronts.


The chassis for the T34 was developed from the Christie suspension system.

All else was all-Russian.

The sloped glassis and side plates, the overhanging gun, the wide diameter turret mounting (for later upgrades), the wide tracks for snow and mud, the strange little gap between the 2nd and 3rd road wheels to allow for track running after a damaged track was shortened etc

- All Russian.

Much to the Chagrin of the Germans who answered with the Panther.

The T3 is the father of all tank design since.

Part of me would like to build a bike just like this, but my fiancee seems to have a really negative ideas about motorcycles. I don't know if the electric thing would overcome the objections or not.

She doesn't mind my riding a bicycle that much though, and I need the exercise.


Yes, French politicians can be a pain.

Your motorcycle looks great. One question, why use a chain for transmission? (I am not very mechanically oriented, so there is probably a good reason.)

Are you aware of smaller versions?


To be fair, if European countries lowered their fuel taxes, the effect would be to allow greater consumption by Europeans at the expense of other countries.

The funny thing is that German (and Austrian) oil consumption is booming along with the economy. German consumption increased by 7 % year on year for the first four months of 2008.
I hope you all enjoy that little example of price elasticity. Diesel is up by 7,3%, jet fuel by 4,3% heating oil by 34% (the winter 06/07 was abnormally mild)

I have found this more than a bit bizarre also.

About the only explanations I have are that currently, the German economy looks to be doing really well (including exports which require transport) and there may be a bit of stockpiling going on, especially of fuel oil, as people realize that fuel prices are unlikely to decline in the next few months.

Nonetheless, the trend is quite disturbing in general, though it may have a bit of fin de siecle feel to it - why not drive while the driving is good?

Equally strange, people seem to have accepted 1.50 euro a liter fuel without any of the problems that 1.30 a liter resulted in.

I watch a lot of BahnTV. The rail infrastructure in Germany is fantastic. Yet I am shocked at how few people are using it at least from what I see on BahnTV.

True ridership is up, but one would think that with fuel prices about double what they are here in the U.S. cars would hardly be used at all. I get the impression that cars still rule, even in Germany.

The Bahn, cars, and Germany - where even to start?

Karlsruhe has a fantastic transit system, and is partially replacing DB and expanding formerly used or disused rail routes. Karlsruhe is also the only city of any size in this region (excluding Freiburg in a broader definition of region) which doesn't have a major Mercedes production facility.

But leaving aside the strong political position of companies like VW, BMW, or Mercedes, the Bahn seems remarkably capable of shooting itself in the foot, over and over again. This is a general German consensus - DB is considered to be the sort of organization that can always be counted on to pick the dumbest of any alternatives offered, at least in terms of actually considering DB an attractive way to travel. For example, raising rates is one thing - raising rates while making people pay for reservations for the first time AND telling the riders this saves them money is just insulting. (Yes, they did this a few years ago.) As for the engineer strike(s) last years - hard to imagine that any management could actually look like greedy incompetents when a locomotive engineer union was asking for a third more in wages, but yep, DB managed to do that. Even at a time when most Germans' wage increases have been flat for several years. (The engineers were seriously underpaid by European standards, it must be noted.)

However, I think the point about cars is that a car is a public display of worth, something which just can't be duplicated by taking the train.

Remember that, outside the US perhaps, fuel taxation is a key component of government revenue. If the tax is set as a percentage of say the wholesale price, then the government take goes up in lockstep. Even if that was uncoupled the price will most likely still rise. Illustrative fictitious figures may be; wholesale price 75c/litre, tax 70c, retail margin 10c giving a pump price $1.55/L. If the tax is capped at 70c/L and the wholesale price jumped to $1.00 then with the same retail margin the price goes to $1.00 + 0.70 + 0.10 = $1.80. Is this what Sarkozy is talking about?

In my opinion fuel must come under a carbon cap so that CTL is double penalised and there should be a large set-aside of fuel revenue for green investment.

The Mineralölsteuer (duty on mineral oil) is set as a fixed amount per liter, so with increasing prices the percentage wise take of the tax man goes down. On top of that the value added tax is added, but that is a zero sum game for the state. What you spend more at the pump you have to save elsewhere.
Modern day politicians aren´t leaders, they just try to please their electorate by formulating what might be popular with average Joe. So Sarkozy just demonstrates that the average european citizen is not peak oil aware

Watching the BBC, it seems that Chindia and other economic tigers who are currently subsidizing low gas
prices with the profits from globalization are becoming worried that they can't keep their state owned energy companies solvent for much longer.
Let's say China has a trillion dollars and it imports 3 million barrels of oil per day and subsidizes $100 off the market price.
OTH, Let's say the US with 6 trillion dollars in household income
minus credit debt is importing 13 million barrels per day at $130 per barrel.

Who will win this INSANE oil bidding war?

Solving the above I get that China could run out of spare cash in 10 years, while the US also runs out in in 10 years.

I think the US has already run out of cash. China is now trying to get rid of their US currency as fast as possible before its value is frittered away. The Chinese do have real productive surplus(read excess cheap labour) to exchange for commodities so I think they win. The other thing that China and India have plenty of to export is people. It is only a mattter of time before the great emigration from these countries commences, much like the Irish in the Potato Famines. And where will these people want to go? Well I'll let you answer that.

Things to bear in mind are the uplift in value of indigenous energy supplies and energy industries resulting from high energy prices and how this may impact positively upon GDP combined with the fact that high price results in lower energy use - the USA will not be importing 13 mmbpd for much longer.

I heard this on the radio this morning too. It is fascinating to watch all our predictions coming true in slow motion soundbites. A little unsettling too. Peak Oil all still seems so distant becasue it is happening excruciatingly slowly whereas the stories we tell here on TOD compress the consequences of PO into nice little packages for easy consumption.

When I heard about the British truckers and European Fisherfolk, I felt really sorry for them at aone level. They don't know what is happening and no one in authority has any clue as to what to do. On teh other level I think screw them. They have had the benefits of free open market policies by being able to ply their trade on roads and water and now that the market is turning against them, they want the governemtn to rescue them. Can't have it both ways I'm afraid.

One way or another, it's not going to last. But we're choosing the maximum pain route.

Boy, you got that right. We're at 5800 rpm in the top end of 4th gear, just startin' to tickle the clutch for that final speedshift into 5th, and our front bumper is 6 inches from smashing through the front door of the House of Pain.

This is probably a primative point, compared to the detail and quality of most of the analysis presented on this site, but I think our politicians are going to frame the debate about energy policy, as primarilly a question about supply/production and not about over-consumption. The blame for our predicament will be placed on Opec and the other oil exporting nations and not on the 'controlled market' which would reflect negatively on us. How far this abdication of responsibility will go and what the longterm consequences of such a strategy will ultimately lead to, is another story.

Good point. Obviously ELP makes more and more sense the higher prices go.
IOW, consuming less means less pain in the wallet.
And hearing the voices around me the blame game has started.

Thanks for bringing this up Jerome. This is on the agenda everywhere.
The same discussion is going on here in Finland.

The minister of finance (aka secretary of treasury in FIN) just let up a masked trial balloon in today's newspapers saying:

We cannot lower the fuel tax on diesel for the transport industry.

One can easily decode this based on how politicians think (aka deceive).

When a political maneuver is that well thought ought and specified, it is already on the table, even if it is being trial-ballooned as a negative.

If gasoline and esp. diesel prices stay at these levels or rise, I will be surprised if Finland doesn't freeze or lower the fuel tax within two years. Esp. now that we have a right wing - center party government coalition, both of whom are supported by the industry dependent on logistics.

Also, based on the history of 2001 strikes and political cave-ins in France and in the UK, the same is going to happen all over Europe. Yes, even in Germany.

So much for that economic signal and theoretical supply-demand parity through price negotiation.

Or to put it in other words:

1. If politicians lower the tax, they think this is just temporary and are trying to find more breathing room in order to be able to stay in power.

2. If politicians do NOT lower the tax, they have finally seen the light and understood that this is it. There is no going back and no amount of lowering the price is going to help, but in fact can only worsen the situation.

Heh what does it matter what the politico's do ? There's 352 euros per 1.000 liter tax. Right now 1000 liter runs between 1300 and 1400 euro.

Meaning dropping ALL taxes on oil (which isn't possible) buys us < 20% of the gas price, and (assuming the oil price doesn't rise immediately in reponse) buys about ... 2 months relief, given 2008 patterns.

< 2 months delay on gas price hikes. That's the awesome power of the entire EU economy. That's the power the politico's can influence, if they cut their own money by ... oh wel 50% or so.

I wouldn't worry about the politicians reducing peak oil effects. At all. They don't have the power. Even the king of saudi arabia doesn't have the power.

I'm from Croatia, and there was TV show last night in witch members of ruleing party and opposition party had discussion about prices of gasoline. In monday we had a new rise in prices of petrol products, so the price of most commonly used fuel Super 95 is around 1.32€, diesel is even more expensive. Average wage in Croatia is 'only' around 470€ a month. This average wage combined with inflation and growing gas prices is sufficient for montly expenses, and our government is preparing to make series of social measures to help porer people to survive. Things like subsidies on electricity and gas bills, and things like that.
In the TV show there were members of governing party and opposition party, and they both agreed that this is good thing to do. There were no mention of why are prises of oil rising, or about oil peak. And what is the biggest concern that there were not a word about a some future energy policy for this country. Like all of our politicians completely adopted liberal capitalist view that free market is going to take care for it self.
One thing more a recently find out that in Croatia if you want to buy a Prius not only that, off course, you need to pay taxes on car you need to pay extra taxes (it's called 'trošarina') depending on power of your engine, and the same 'trošarina' is also payed on Prius batteryes. So it is more expensive then other more polluting cars.


In 2011 Croatia will probably enter EU, if we do not bankrupt by then.

"...Like all of our politicians completely adopted liberal capitalist view that free market is going to take care for it self."

Free market won't help. In Britain, the more electricity you buy, the cheaper tarriff (price per unit)you can get. To be equitable, the first 2000 to 3000kwh should be reasonably priced followed by a very steep rise for any extra, ramping up to £100 a unit or more eventually.

People seem to be surprised that this will happen. The reality is it was always part of the timeline. As prices, and therefore real inflation for people, rise significantly there will be call for tax cuts and then wage rises. On way or another that will result in unemployment ... and so on and so on.

From the point of view of the politicians the most sensible path is to gradually reduce taxation AND services so as to mitigate the pace of rise, not the rise itself. If petrol is going up 10p, reduce the tax by 2p. Critically you only want to do that to support the continued operation of your economy AND when you can see that the rises will collapse someone elses economy and so their demand.

What tax reductions are buying you is transition time, so key is actually undertaking policies that change the make-up of the economy. Rationing goes alongside that (unfortunately), probably under the heading for carbon trading.

In short, what I'd expect to see is some form of personal carbon trading implemented to deliver a rationing effect, at the same time sweetened by a tax cut on fuel. You fill in an online form every year detailing your mileage, flights, electricity and gas usage etc. and then pay for any over or get a rebate on any under alongside the tax return. Treasury would love that, lots more levers to pull with them in charge.

Here's Gordon Brown's contribution to the debate.

The Guardian - 28/05/08

Letter From Gordon Brown

The global economy is facing the third great oil shock of recent decades.
The oil price, just $10 a barrel a decade ago, has reached $135, pushing
up the price of petrol and domestic heating as well as contributing to
higher food prices. And I know that families up and down the country are
feeling the impact in the cost of filling up at the petrol station and in
the rise in gas and electricity bills.

As every country faces increased costs, it is now understood that a global
shock on this scale requires global solutions. This is why the UK is
arguing that at the top of the economic agenda for the forthcoming G8
summit in Japan should be a global strategy for addressing the impact of
higher oil prices.

The cause of rising prices is clear: growing demand and too little supply
to meet it both now and - perhaps of even greater significance - in the
future. Higher demand is one of the major results of the scope, speed and
scale of globalisation as Asian economies, as well as Opec countries
themselves, demand more oil. To take one example: by 2020 there could be
as many as 140m cars in China - more than three times as many as today.
Overall, by 2020, global demand for energy will rise by 50%.

It is the market's belief that ever-growing demand will continue to
outstrip supply that has pushed up the oil price. And we are becoming
increasingly aware of the technical, financial and political barriers to
the production of more oil. Every country must find ways of being more
efficient and diversifying supply. And as continuing high oil prices
present us all with an immense challenge, the way we confront these issues
will define our era.

While the world will always seek new sources of supply, and we must
continue to reduce barriers to investment, our strategic interests -
reducing energy costs, increasing our energy security, tackling climate
change - all now point in the same direction: decreasing dependency on
oil, through substitution with other energy sources and through energy
efficiency. And what we do to change the balance for the medium and long
term can have an effect in the short term because it can give greater
certainty about future supply and demand, and create a more stable market.

So our goal that Britain becomes a low-carbon economy is now an economic
priority as well as an environmental imperative. And if we are to ensure a
better deal for consumers, energy security and lower greenhouse gas
emissions, Britain, Europe and the world will have to change how we use
energy and the type of energy we use.

So, as John Hutton has said, we need to accelerate the development and
deployment of alternative sources of energy, reducing global dependence on
oil. Britain will increase its investment in renewables, including
decentralised generation. We will build one of the world's first
commercial-scale carbon capture and storage coal plants and we have
committed to a nuclear building programme to ensure that the UK's
emissions and dependence on fossil fuels do not rise as existing nuclear
stations close.

But, as we manage this transition to a low-carbon economy, we must also do
more to help the oil market operate more efficiently. Globally, producers
and consumers share common interests in market stability. So instead of
Opec going its own way, there should be an enhanced dialogue between
producers and consumers about the advance of nuclear, coal and renewables
and about greater energy efficiency - as well as about future oil

With greater transparency on both sides, oil producers and consumers
should gain a better understanding of trends in supply and how they affect
the price of oil. Just as we are examining how we can maximise the
recovery of oil from the North Sea oilfields, so all oil producers should
re-examine whether the barriers that exist to strategic investments should
be broken down. And in advance of the G8 summit, I will be proposing
further work internationally to achieve a better dialogue on supply
possibilities and trends in demand.

But each country has also to act now to help those hit by high fuel bills.
In Britain this means increased winter fuel payments; a new one-stop
service on home energy efficiency; free insulation for people on low
incomes and the over 70s and a £150m programme financed by the utility
companies to cut fuel bills for lower income families.

And we will do more. In the next three years, energy firms will insulate
another 5m homes. Three million more households should get access to free
or discounted energy-efficiency products. And "smart" metering will allow
informed decisions about energy use.

This domestic action will help. But however much we might wish otherwise,
there is no easy answer to the global oil problem without a comprehensive
international strategy. We have made a start, but over the coming weeks,
as this new economic challenge moves to being the first item on every
country's agenda, getting the world to act together will be the top
priority at the EU and G8 summits and beyond.

Original text: The Guardian

The calibre of the man in charge:

Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling are meeting oil industry chiefs today as pressure mounts over soaring fuel prices.

Writing in the Guardian ahead of the talks, the prime minister said there was no quick fix to the "third great oil shock".
He called on nations to unite to stabilise the price of the commodity, which has increased from $10 a barrel a decade ago to $135 today.
And he said that the UK will argue that a global strategy to tackle the impact of higher oil prices will be put at the top of the agenda at the next meeting of the G8 group of industrialised countries.

Yes, he actually will try this:

Brown will use this morning's meeting with energy chiefs in north-east Scotland to attempt to secure a higher output from the UK's declining North Sea oil fields

Brown will use this morning's meeting with energy chiefs in north-east Scotland to attempt to secure a higher output from the UK's declining North Sea oil fields

"We want you to produce more so we can tax the hell out of you" - he will say in a booming voice whilst thumping the desk with his big fist.

"For the first time in history penal taxation will be used to stimulate economic activity"

Gordon - what you want to do is to construct your tax regime in such a way that oil companies with windfall profits are obliged to re-invest in alternative energies on the biggest scale you can imagine then multiply that by no 10!

PS - you won't solve your problems surrounded by the idiots who have led you and the rest of the world into this mess.

Spot on.

Obligatory Reinvestment in Alts.

The skills, the engineers, the money are all up here in Scotland.

But Euan, I am afraid that time is passing if not already passed.

I guess I should add that during the fuel protests of 2001 (?) Brown chickened out of adding tax to fuel (that wold have stemmed demand) and instead taxed the North Sea operating companies - reducing their incentives to produce more.


Are you sure you are the right man for the job Gordon?

Are you sure that was the wrong thing to do then? That leaves more oil which can be pumped in the future doesn't it?

There is not much there that most of us would not agree with.
I don't think that the pace and scale of the change has really sunk in though - my guess is that they see peak as maybe 10-15 years out, and take Saudi's pronouncements pretty seriously.
The coming recession is also likely to knock oil demand and prices back, I would see them perhaps falling to $60-70/barrel by around 2010, before rapidly rising to way beyond present peaks, perhaps $250-$300 by around 2012.
The emphasis is likely to switch away from worrying about expensive oil in the interim though, unfortunately.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch....

Blackouts sweep the country in electricity shutdown
By Danny Fortson, Business Correspondent
Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Britain was hit by electricity blackouts as a string of power station shutdowns wreaked havoc on the national generating system yesterday.

National Grid issued a highly unusual plea to electricity suppliers to reduce the voltage to homes after a raft of power plant closures threatened a supply shortage during the hours of peak demand last night.

The operator of the country's power grid sent out its plea after several regions, including south-west London, Merseyside and Cheshire, suffered power cuts following the unexpected shutdown of British Energy's Sizewell B nuclear reactor during the morning. British Energy refused to reveal the reason for the incident but said it had already begun to get the plant up and running again. National Grid cut off supplies automatically to "protect the integrity of the network," a spokesman said.

This was a really strange one. Our largest and newest nuclear power station (Sizewell B in the South East) fell off the grid, then a couple of minutes later a coal power station in Scotland failed. An unlucky coincidence maybe or could there have been any connection?

The difficulties were compounded by a series of other generating units also went off line.

There's a good write-up in The Times here: Blackouts hit thousands as generators fail

Grid Warnings

2008-05-27 15:09 From : Power System Manager - National Grid Electricity Control Centre NOTIFICATION OF ISSUE OF GB TRANSMISSION SYSTEM WARNING DEMAND CONTROL IMMINENT In accordance with OC7 of the Grid Code a GB Transmission System Warning 'Demand Control Imminent' has been issued by National Grid effective from 16:00 27/05/08 The situation will be reviewed again by National Grid at 17:45 hours and an update issued Notification Issued at 16:09 hrs on 27/05/08 Issued by Lewis Gent National Grid Electricity Control Centre

The good news is that there are no warnings active today (well so far...).

Vince Cable, the treasury spokesman for the Liberal Democrats in the UK and formerly economist at Shell, was on the BBC this morning in an interview partly responding to the article by the prime minister in the Guardian.

It sounds as if Cable has no understanding of peak oil. He said that OPEC probably could not raise supply much, political interference was stopping western companies from operating in Iran, and Russian production was falling as a result of political interference and incompetence. He said the market will work over the longer term to bring down prices by dampening demand and increasing supply, no mention of fundamental supply constraints.

Yep, the Beeb is just announcing that Brown will announce changes to the licensing for North Sea fields to try to increase the level of exploration and exploitation of old fields.

Sensible, but its not going to do much on its own. There needs to be a strategy of reducing demand, boosting what production can be a boosted, and limiting exports.

Sticking plasters at the moment.

Sticking plasters yes, but the whole point (less) is to show that he is doing something or is "feeling our pain" or similar claptrap in order to ease the pressure on the current government.

Reducing demand; being tried by increasing fuel and road taxes and look at the complaints that is generating.

Boosting production; he is changing the tax situation but anything in the North Sea will have minimal effects and take years.

Limiting exports; interesting - so in effect subsidise demand by providing fuel at below market prices which will encourage demand thus increasing depletion rates:-( I think WT might have something to say about that.

I smell a rat.

Brown goes all the way up to Banchory in Deeside to prevail upon the 'Oil Chiefs' to find more, pump more.

This makes it look as if the nation is currently at the mercy of the said 'Oil Chiefs'...

Thus diverting attention from the VED and Escalator - for a while anyway.

Unless of course this 'most brilliant mind in politics for a generation' actually has no concept of regional depletion curves.

The man is either a knave or a fool.

You'll know when he understands - because he will look at cutting government spends by billions.

This little 'doism' looks like it will last about 3 hours.

UK juddering down a rockier policy path than the US

It is hard to resist a rather obvious conclusion. Every Labour government since 1929 has been undone by one or more types of economic crisis – financial, fiscal, currency, inflation. The great achievement of new Labour is that it has avoided that fate. Until now.

Now, as if to make up for lost time, it looks like Britain is going to have all four of them together.

Hyperinflation, massive deflation - take your pick

I wonder what the implications of joining the Euro would be .....

The Euro is likely not to exist for much longer.
There doesn't appear to be any way countries like Spain, Greece and Italy will be able to stay in once the effects of high oil prices, and importantly high air fares, feed through.

Short term vs long term.

Can anyone think of government spend, to the tune of £10-20bn, that could be cut? Any government is going to need wriggle room and at present its not there.

1. Lots of military wastage in Iraq and Afghanistan.
2. All NHS medical treatments to create (IVF) or prolong life (e.g. no expensive treatments for over 80s, smokers, morbidly obese).
3. Cut benefit payments across the board
4. Phase out parents benefits (Tax credits, child benefit, childcare vouchers etc.)

I'm sure there's more but none of it is going to be pretty (or popular).

Yeah, who cares whether by their contributions medical care has already been paid for by some of those groups, or that smokers because they die earlier on average have subsidised non-smokers pensions?
I am sure those are the sort of measures the middle class will seek to impose though, so that the costs will once more be borne largely by the poorer and the working class.

no waste? ROTFLOL, see

Waste mounts as £100 billion web of quangos duplicates work.

"...This is despite the call by Gordon Brown in 1995, when he was the shadow chancellor, for a “bonfire of quangos”..."

Of course back then being in opposition he wasn't in a position to hand out largesse. so now we have £100 billion every year.

I didn't say there was no waste, but if you seriously think there is £100bn waste, out of a total of £589bn - then you've an interesting definition of waste.

You can get rid of a few million here or there, but to make the types of numbers I'm talking about you need to deal with some big chunks of spend. There are three main departmental spenders: Education, Health, and Welfare & Pensions. Logically its one of these that needs to lose 'an arm'.

As a 'for instance', we know we are going to need a much better and expanded public transport system, and that it will take investment now to deliver that. Do we lose child support to pay for it? Will people understand the priorities?

I am not seeing why high air fares in particular need be a problem. High speed rail would work just as well to get people around.

And for that matter, Spain has been working hard on CSP, so they have something highly marketable to offer.

High speed rail does not reach all corners of Europe yet - France's tourist industry should do relatively well, and so should the north of Italy.
Travel to Spain though is largely through cars driving down during 'Les Grandes Vacances', or air from Britain and Germany.
Greece would be even harder hit.
CSP in Spain is wholly dependent on massive subsidies, which are unlikely to continue in the financial circumstances Spain will shortly find itself in.
Wind power there should do much better, as should residential solar thermal.

I think that the benefits of the euro in terms of inter-EU trade are massively underestimated from a British perspective.

Along with the attachment that many people, especially younger ones, have of simply being able to spend their money anywhere they travel within the eurozone. Though possibly hard to imagine in the UK, the euro is a concrete symbol of the EU, the first that most people in the EU have ever actually experienced. This feeling is obviously not universal, and basically non-existent in the UK, which is used to one currency (so to speak) for centuries.

The euro, like all other currencies, will disappear at some point, and the challenges - or problems - it will face will be real ones.

But merely because a few self-interested politicians continue to use a literally dying issue (note point about young people above) to continue to gain votes doesn't mean that companies like Siemens or Nokia or Phillips or VW or Renault are simply going to give up the bottom line benefits the euro offers because some people think it might not work out over the long term.

You've fairly heavily loaded your comments on the merits or otherwise of the Euro with emotive language and characterisations of those who do not think it a good idea.
The problem is that all successful currency zones have been far more centralised than anything in Europe, and that richer areas have to contribute through taxes to the poorer for it to work for substantial periods of time.
After their experience of hyper-inflation the Germans are not going to let inflation rip, and the Latin countries certainly and France probably are not going to put on a hair shirt to move in tune with Germany.
I doubt that many will be doing a lot of travel anyway before long, and in any case a massive shock like the oil price rise will blow the Euro straight out of the water, before 2012 I would guess.

Well, to me the only real money is dollars - but that is because I'm American, and live in Germany, right next to France. My wife and kids find it amusing when I talk about money using 'dollars' as a synonym.

And the emotive language is exactly the point - most Europeans I know find the euro more than an acceptable substitute to their former currencies. It makes life simpler, and is a concrete expression of being part of Europe, and not merely German, French, Spanish, etc. This construction is quite interesting - people find it possible to consider themselves Spanish and European, or German and European, or Italian and European (pretty much forget about the French - the stereotype has a lot of truth behind it).

And the fact is, the eurozone has gotten very used to the benefits of the euro - like being able to send money to bank accounts throughout the eurozone without high fees or exchange rate hassles. A feature most loved by businesses, of course, a fact that at least the British press seems to completely and utterly ignore. An understandable blindspot, actually, since British companies still have these problems when dealing with the eurozone, without realizing what it means to have such hindrances removed from doing business in a market larger in population than the U.S.

It other words, the concrete benefits of the euro are a matter of the bottom line for most of the eurozone domestic market, a fact often missing in British observations of the euro. Another fact missing was the franc fort policy that the French followed for more than a decade before replacing the franc. The French followed most of the Bundesbank's basic principles, with Gallic twists, and found them profitable.

The challenges facing the euro are very real, and I am not trying to deny them. But for decades, the EC/EU was supposed to be on the brink of failure, as it continued to grow to include essentially all of Western Europe, and much of the Warsaw Pact. The EU, and its currency, may just be something new, which is not what people really expect at this point from old Europe. The EU is most certainly not some shining model, but it has worked pretty well over 50 years, if measured by the reason it was founded - making war among European nations impractical.

The Euro has been very popular in Europe, mainly in those nations where their lack of fiscal responsibility would mean that their currencies would rapidly devalue, were it not for the borrowed credibility of the Bundesbank.
None of that will make up for the lack of a unified tax structure and individual sovereign governments being able to set their own budget deficits when the economy blows apart as the effects of expensive oil work through.
A core group might remain, but under normal trading conditions the degree of divergence in Europe is barely sustainable and fringe members have no chance at all of keeping in the Euro as dear oil unwinds.

"...The great achievement of new Labour is that it has avoided that fate. Until now..."

The only reason for this is that Labour was committed to the spending plans of the previous incumbents for a few years. As soon as they could it was back to the old ways of we know best how to spend your money - tax and spend more.

Gordon Brown actually said to Labour people when he presented his first budget - that he was establishing credibility so that in later budgets he could be free to follow the traditional Labour agenda.

man is either a knave or a fool

I think he is both.

Last time round his solution was "I'm on the phone to OPEC"

I am appalled by the lack of leadership from all UK parties. I am also concerned the issue is going to hijacked by Fascists. I think we need to act on the BNP's claim to be addressing the Issue


The Ashphalt Warriors see peak oil as a way to power. As we decline in prosperity, they will seek to inflame tribal war.

As the old saying goes:

'when poverty knocks ont' door, love flys out 'window.'

in regards to fuel tax i think governments will have to find a way to keep core industries running e.g. agriculture and freight as with out them nations will struggle to function. So a tax break on fuel for them may appear a temporary solution. But the general public and non essential industry is going to have to adapt now.

I dont expect any real action from governments until they accept that our demand is the issue not opec or china.
p.s isnt the UK introducing individual carbon credits?

No. Various politicians will talk about a carbon credits scheme, see
The chances of it being introduced are about zero. Just like UK government energy reviews. A new one comes along every couple of years and then next to nothing happens until the announcement of a new energy review.

Or should I say nothing appears to happen. Maybe a lot is happening behind the scenes

There is a strange tempo or structure to government actions. It has a 'feel' to it. There are some sets of things going on judging by the statements (more nuke powerstations for one). However I still don't think they have the real understanding of the effect of peak oil.

By nature they are gradual evolution type mentalities, they shy away from believing in fast revolutions. There is a maximum rate of change they can cope with.

They know there is a problem on the horizon, but as yet I don't think they've understood the size.

That's a good way of looking at it. It will be interesting to see if they really do speed up a new build of nuclear stations, encourage more renewable generation etc. when they appreciate the urgency.

Newsnight on the BBC has a video on their site looking at the new statement on nuclear power:
the announcement seems mainly orientated to give the impression of action, and control the news agenda.
Both the government and the conservatives are talking in terms of enabling legislation, and don't want to guess how much nuclear power will be provided by private industry.
There seems to be no awareness at all that absolute shortages of energy are likely.

I think Kunstler is right that the featherbedding that lead up to Peak Oil represents a massive market failure. The market may be an 'invisible hand' but it also has poor eyesight. There seems to be no getting away from the fact that some individuals are now facing a crisis. Aside from truckers and fishermen even the low salary earner who lives an hour's drive from the city has few options. Here's a glib Q&A;
get a Prius - can't afford it
sell up and move closer in - can't afford it
take public transport - doesn't exist
get a local job - doesn't exist.

Like it or not I think there is every chance governments will have to intervene on emergency grounds. Unfortunately nothing will please the public as much as fuel tax cuts but then what? Maybe a period of rationing or tiered pricing is the next step. Whatever form it takes will have to set the scene for long term adaptation.

I think Kunstler is right that the featherbedding that lead up to Peak Oil represents a massive market failure

I'm not really a massive fan of Kunstler but I do sense a market failure. demand destruction and price rejigging downwards equates to the removal of transition investment.

keeping demand and price up to create incentives for change results in what exactly.. a contraction in discretionary spending?

its just not panning out

and political intervention at present seems to be aimed at placating consumer/voter perceptions .


A report from Texas (of course $4 per gallon sounds pretty good across the pond):
Dallas area residents feel the grip of soaring gas prices
04:08 AM CDT on Wednesday, May 28, 2008

With a gallon of gasoline hovering at the $4 mark, it's the numbers that sketch the impact of rising fuel costs. But the real-world struggles of everyday folks show how deeply those soaring prices affect individual lives. Commuters caught between a home here and a job there calculate the cost of changing one or the other and realize that neither provides an answer. Business owners spend years finding a place in the market, then see it slip away in a matter of months. Families cut back to pay the price at the pump, but with the numbers climbing, they fall further and further behind. Some downsize their cars or their commutes. They plan trips more carefully, or seek out public transportation.

But across the teeming plains of North Texas, a place that came of age in the era of the automobile, many find themselves trapped behind the wheel.

Hi WT,

Actually $4 per gallon sounds pretty bad to some of us across the pond. I am busy lobbying the politicos not to give in to calls to cut the price.

The solution seems obvious to me.
Increase fuel duty (by quite a bit) but give every car an allowance of duty free fuel (e.g. approx 120 litres per year). The total revenue from the increase of duty should match the duty free amount "given-away".

This way people can pay no fuel duty at all if they only use a car for essential journeys (not commuting). People who commute a reasonable distance (less than 10 miles) should also end up better off.

The cost of "frivolous" fuel usage then becomes noticeably higher. Further increases in duty could go along with increases of the duty-free allowance.

Ah, but we are back to the definition of reasonable. Just take a look at and you will see people moaning on about how they are retired, disabled, a taxi driver, carry heavy musical instruments about, can't stand it any more.......

All of those people in their own minds at least have reasonable requirements.

Also per car does not work, I would be happy to buy a few cars, maybe one for each day of the week.

In the future some form of rationing will probably be required and this type of scheme whereby the first xxx litres/gallons/miles are at a low cost could be the incentive that persuades people to sign up voluntarily then facilitiates rationing.

But if any system along those lines actually works (ie, no black market imports/stolen fuel/whatever), then I suspect that bigger changes will be needed as well. If you can get 10 km/litre and 120l annually then you can travel 1200km. Lets suppose you pay higher prices for another 1200km. At those 2400km per annum, probably consolidated into big trips does it make sense to actually own a car when it'll be sitting idle, vulnerable to fuel and vehicle theft most of the time, rather hire one as needed? But that suggests the need for very local hire depots rather than the "foreign visitors and van hire" model in the UK now. Likewise, for the driving generations coming up, is big trips totalling 2400km a year enough to get you enough practice to be safe driving? Finally, do cars rather than motorbikes and small vans actually make sense once you're heavily fuel restricted. The family car size really only makes sense when you're doing a lot of ferrying family around and fuel is cheap enough that doing the work commute on your own doesn't cost much relatively.

Once it is perceived as serious, long-term petrol restriction I expect lots of things will get reanalysed.

The per car idea would work in the UK. To be eligible the car would need to be taxed, serviced (MOT) and insured. This will cost more than the duty free fuel saving.

Not many people will pay £400pa (never mind the purchase cost of the car) to save £200pa.

I think this discussion is the wrong way around.

One should start by deciding how much oil the country can afford to use (some imported and some locally sourced). The next step would be to give every inhabitant of the country - regardless of whether they have a car, moped or a bicycle - a voucher for their share of this oil. They can exchange this voucher for oil or sell it to someone else. Obviously, it can be done by a card-based system.

For example, if the allocation is 100 litres of petrol per inhabitant. One would be able to swap it for, say, 90 litres of diesel. Or one could sell some of it and use the rest. Or one could sell all of it.

In return for this "gift" from the authorities, all these child-based/ poverty-based/ age-based/ disablement-based subsidies should be withdrawn and the considerable bureaucracy lurking behind them dissolved. The same applies to minimum wage and all these unnecessary laws for "helping" women have children and continue to work (i.e. by cross-subsidization from their male colleagues/husbands).

As for the taxation system. It should be based as a simple percentage of the notional (real) rents on all land and property. Remove all income tax, VAT, corporation tax, death duties, stamp duties, tv license fees, car tax, import duties, council tax etc. This will ensure that the assets of the UK are used properly. Obviously, all these quangos would go and so would most of the civil service. Release these skilled and educated people so that they would move to the productive side of the economy.

I believe that we could dramatically reduce oil consumption and improve the quality of life of most people by doing the above.

In regards to politicians' and mainstream journalists' responses to the current crunch, one thing I have been noticing is that a lot of them seem to be a bit in denial even that the U.S. has peaked (37 years ago)! Or perhaps they know, but just feel it is impolite to mention in public that the U.S. did, in fact, use up most of its oil and that is why we are dependent on foreigners.

Here is my evidence: (1) The people who go on about how the U.S. would have plenty of oil if only the environmentalists would let us drill under ANWR/the continental shelf/etc., implying that we could supply all our own needs if only we would try. (2) The people (across the political spectrum) who go on angrily about the Saudis and OPEC "controlling too much of the world's oil" and being anti-competitive; didn't they hear that Texas and Alaska and the North Sea used to be OPEC's competition until they started drying up? (3) The people who swear that our Middle Eastern wars have nothing to do with oil.

I am a new poster; I have learned a lot from the Oil Drum! I don't know if the current difficulties are The Peak or a plateau on the way to The Peak, but I think it's time we started planning! Unfortunately, based on the examples above, I think some politicians and economists will not only not recognize the global peak BEFORE it happens, they might not even recognize it for years or decades AFTERWARDS, during which they will be itching to attack whoever is Keeping The Oil From Them.

I remember my Econ 101 class in 1989, where the professor was telling us that there are no physical limits that affect the supply and demand curves, and all us bright-eyed 17-year-olds gave him counterexamples (people will need to buy food no matter how expensive it gets, and if they can't, riots and social breakdown will occur; and sometimes you just run out of supply of something) and he just intoned with gravelly seriousness about how That Is Not How Real Economics Works.

Sigh. We have a long way to go.

Cut the fishing fleet in half, with half the diesel use.

The catch will be reduced by half as well, at first. But slowly (in a year or two) the catch will rise. I would suspect that the catch will equal the old total within a dozen or fewer years.


What did France expect electing this joker? Bad advice impressively given. Bravo!

Sakorsky is a typical French polititan. Remember a French economist is a contradiction in terms.