View Poll Results: Should oil companies be allowed to develope organic fuel solutions?

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  • Yes, it's just another business

    9 34.62%
  • No way, they can't be trusted with our future

    2 7.69%
  • Yes,but be forced by legislation to produce solutions in a timely fashion

    5 19.23%
  • yes, but Govts should stimulate competition to speed the prcess up

    10 38.46%
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Thread: Should oil companies be allowed to develope organic fuels?

  1. #17
    Senior Member RVF500's Avatar
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    The thing is we do have alternatives. China recognises (for example) that it is going to face supply issues with the pace of it's own economic growth. One of the options it is workingon is the refining of palm oil. They don't have it. Malaysia does. So they are commissioning refining plants to be supplied by countries such as Malaysia. Cheaper and renewable. Whilst giving growers incentive and a valuable crop. Maybe someone should have a word with the people intent on turning the rainforests of South America into a football field.

    Biofuels are a viable alternative that is available now. Can anyone tell me (intelligently) why these are not being made readily available to users i.e mass transport providers?There has been much made about how we need to reduce emissions so why is the means to do it being kept back? It IS available now and it CAN be used in a mixed form in vehicles that are on the road now without having to modify the vehicles.

    Not sure where I stand on the issue of nuclear fuel. Ok, its clean but produces harmful waste. The thing is how harmful and how much? I think I'd be happier if there was a way to neutralise the waste. Of course we've all seen what happens when things go drastically wrong with nuclear power. It's all very well saying that it's prefectly safe if done properly. But accidents still happen.
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  2. #18
    Treasure Hunter extraordinaire herulach's Avatar
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    Biofuels are available now, one of the big supermarket chains (morrisons iirc) runs its fleeet on used doughnut fat.

    But biofuels arent the be all and end all, as far as energy/area goes i think youd probably struggle to beat solar/wind, and of course, its only really useful as a transport fuel, not as a mass generating type of thing, and its nearly as bad for the environment, fair enough, its not oil, but i imagine theres still a lot of particulates (although i havent seen any figures, i cant see it being much better than modern diesel engines)

  3. #19
    Banhammer in peace PeterB kalniel's Avatar
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    What do you mean by organic fuels? Oil is an organic fuel.#

    Edit: oops - that was answered on first page - you mean renewable.

    Well yes they should be allowed to, and they are allowed to.. so a bit of an odd question

    Tesco already sell 5% biofuel at their larger stations.

    All diesel in france is 5% biofuel..
    Last edited by kalniel; 24-04-2006 at 11:08 AM.

  4. #20
    Banhammer in peace PeterB kalniel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by herulach
    and its nearly as bad for the environment, fair enough, its not oil, but i imagine theres still a lot of particulates (although i havent seen any figures, i cant see it being much better than modern diesel engines)
    Actually particulates are quite reduced with Biofuel, but CO2 emissions are higher - offset that by CO2 uptake during creation of Biofuel and it's not so bad.

    Particulate reduction might not be a good thing anyway - the recent botch on the climate change experiment showed just how important particulates and smog is in combating global warming

  5. #21
    Senior Member RVF500's Avatar
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    OK, ok, ok.......fossil fuel is organic.....Yes, I meant renewable....alternative. My bad. The question is whether or not they are deliberately slowing the pace of change to get the most out of their present product. This argument can be quite easily equated to the argument that pharmeceutical companies withold medicines to prolong/maintain the sale of other expensive drugs. The argument is the same.

    Now I know that makes sound economic sense to the companies but there are wider implications that need to be considered. The biggest one being the environment. Should we go at a pace dictated by the economics of the oil companies or should alternatives be either put into the hands of others or (more practicable) others be given assistance to compete and therefore push the pace of change. I know biofuels aren't the big answer.

    How many times have we seen the advert proclaiming the fuel for motor vehicles that only has water as a by product. Marvellous, wondereful (wonderfuel!!). So where is it?

    The other side of the coin is the political makeup of the largest oil producing regions. Yes I know that the US, Brunei, UK, Romania, Russia etc are stable countries unlikely to try and wipe out their neighbours, have internal instability or simply shut of the supply to show how much the rest of us needs them. Unfortunately the largest suppliers do have these issues. Getting away from dependancy on these states might even have a calming effect on them. As well as stop prices hitting you and I every time the Iranian president rattles his sabre, the Saudis have an Al Qaeda attack or the Nigerians have their sources slowed up by rebels for example.
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  6. #22
    Banhammer in peace PeterB kalniel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RVF500
    OK, ok, ok.......fossil fuel is organic.....Yes, I meant renewable....alternative. My bad. The question is whether or not they are deliberately slowing the pace of change to get the most out of their present product. This argument can be quite easily equated to the argument that pharmeceutical companies withold medicines to prolong/maintain the sale of other expensive drugs. The argument is the same.
    But they don't. Pharma companies would love to get more medicines out the door, but when you have a 13 year trial lead time it's a bit hard.

    Should we go at a pace dictated by the economics of the oil companies or should alternatives be either put into the hands of others or (more practicable) others be given assistance to compete and therefore push the pace of change.
    Oil companies aren't dictating the pace at all - supply is. At the moment we can't even grow enough oil seed rape to meet the incredibly small demand for places like tesco, and we have to import it from france.

    I think you have too much of a pessimistic view on companies - maybe mine is too optimistic. But places like supermarkets are not always affiliated with companies that extract oil, and can chose where they get their supplies from, which is why we already see biofuel in supermarket stations. Oil companies are not dictating the what fuel we use.

    In other news: maybe oil could be renewable if we actually did something with our plastic bags, rather than throw them away...
    Last edited by kalniel; 24-04-2006 at 01:42 PM.

  7. #23
    Senior Member RVF500's Avatar
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    Maybe I am a bit cynical. To much reason to be and not enough not to be. There are medicines available that are not produced by the pharmas....if I was going to be fair then I'd say it was the testing programme that keeps them off the market. But I have a tendancy not to be fair when I see very good economic reasons for them to withold product. Hence my somewhat jaded view of the oil companies in general and the OPEC organisation in particular.

    As for supply and demand. Well, maybe we should be talking to the South American nations about them planting stuff instead of cutting it down for cattle grazing etc. Even if we do have to import it I would personally rather import it from a region that would be looking at sustaining resources begause they have a reason too. Instead of just giving them cash and lots of pleas to please not wipe out their ecosystem as it just might have a knock on effect for the rest of us. Just an idea.
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  8. #24
    Beard hat ftw! steve threlfall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RVF500
    The question is whether or not they are deliberately slowing the pace of change to get the most out of their present product.
    It certainly seems that way. Viable alternatiives are availabe but the distribution network is under the control of the oil companies (who operate it in their best interests of course). With no way of getting a new product out there, alternatives will struggle.

    I wouldnt like think how many 'genius solutions' have been thought up only for the oil companies to buy out the inventor and cover the solution up. No doubt they are going to milk the oil market for everything its worth before introducing alternatives.

  9. #25
    Senior Amoeba iranu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kalniel
    . At the moment we can't even grow enough oil seed rape to meet the incredibly small demand for places like tesco, and we have to import it from france.
    That's the EU's wasteful CAP for you. We now pay farmers to look after the land rather than grow crops. There should be a sustained drive to get farmers in Britain to grow plants that produce biofuels, our agricultural set up is perfect for it. However, it needs enticement to get the ball rolling. Unfortunately our government is hamstrung because of the CAP. If we could control our own agriculture (and it's subsidies etc) then we would see a larger production of biofuels in this country.
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  10. #26
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    When it comes to fuel intended for vehicles, I think the oil conglomerates should be forced to take a back seat, but whilst supply is ever growing, they will call the shots; no government or international body has the authority (i.e. financial muscle) to rein them in. If and when the migration to biodiesel is made, they will exert massive influence over the market via the distribution chain and at the point of sale. Production of the crops is going to need firm governmental support to prevent western consumers (and hence the oil conglomerates) from seriously taking the pish.

    Overall, supply and demand is leaving us with a 'chicken or the egg' scenario; neither the consumer or producer is willing to undertake any meaningful, proactive steps. In the UK, Blair might be inclined to wag his finger at consumers, but he must know full well that a significant shift in consumer sensibilities and habits is likely to encourage decentralisation and hence require the global marketplace to make major adjustments. The USs much-vaunted 'dynamic' market driven society could find itself struggling, rather than just treading water.

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