Saturday, 2 August 2008

Quentin Wilson

Letter in last week's Kent on Sunday:

Dear Editor,

We can expect Quentin Wilson (KoS 13th July) to back the road lobby, but I was surprised to read that he has absolutely no insight into the bigger picture.

Fuel prices have rise sharply due to global demand for oil outstripping supply for the first time. Despite interesting claims by oil companies and oil producing countries, supply of oil is essentially fixed. For basic geological reasons oil cannot be extracted any more quickly, i.e. supply is at its maximum. Demand, however, continues to grow globally.

Getting rid of fuel tax would ease the burden for us in the short term and but it will increase consumption and demand further simply pushing prices higher. In no time at all we will be back where we started but this time with no tax revenue to make the drastic structural changes to address our transportation and fuel crises.

There should be fairer access to fuel and there needs to be radical changes to the way we live our lives (perhaps a start is an assumption that local is good when it comes to schools, work and shops), but radical change will need money. Sadly, none of the three main parties have real plans that would address the scale of the challenge of peak oil.

The country needs to be investing heavily in reducing our dependency on oil and this can't be done alongside cutting fuel tax. Investing in reducing our fossil fuel dependency will also ensure that our economy does not get too battered.

Reducing fuel taxes is a sure-fire way to economic disaster.

Stuart Jeffery
Green Party parliamentary candidate for Maidstone and the Weald

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