It’s been apparent for a very long time that our place in Australia is fairly precarious in relation to our reliance on oil. The drone assaults on the Saudi oil fields introduced this level into sharp focus over the previous few days.
We depend on international liquid gas imports for 85% of our wants (and climbing). Our refining capability can also be dwindling and it’s estimated that by 2030 there’ll merely be no refining capability in Australia in any respect.
Disruption to grease provide by means of struggle, environmental disaster or monetary meltdown are components that would depart Australia in a really precarious place as we now have a mere few weeks provide regardless of having obligations as an IEA nation to carry 90 days.
This lack of provide was detailed by Air Vice-Marshall John Blackburn again in 2013 within the first of two experiences on Australia’s Liquid Gasoline Safety.
The experiences had been commissioned by the NRMA. They illustrate the intense state of affairs we’d discover ourselves in with a disruption to produce.
In essence Australia would come to a standstill inside weeks or to cite from the report:
Dry items may run out inside 9 days;
Chilled and frozen items may run out inside seven days;
Retail pharmacy provides may run out inside seven days;
Hospital pharmacy provides may run out inside three days; and
Gasoline accessible to the general public may run out inside three days.
It could be cheap to suppose our political masters would have acted swiftly and decisively to beef up reserves primarily based on the report’s findings. After all making that assumption would adorn our political class with a way of rationale and intelligence that’s clearly past their collective skills. To place it bluntly they’ve sat on their asses and finished nearly nothing to extend reserves or wean us off our habit to grease.
The drone assaults on the Saudi oilfields have revealed how cheaply and simply oil manufacturing could be disrupted. With this backdrop to our present world state of affairs wouldn’t it make sense for Australia to be vitality unbiased with a change from an oil primarily based transport fleet to 1 that may be powered by native vitality sources? Is that too simplistic to counsel or is it as John Cleese could have put it, ‘stating the bleeding apparent’.
The advantages after all can be all that cash that at present flows overseas to acquire oil (round $30 billion yearly) can be diverted to native Australian vitality, creating Australian infrastructure and jobs whereas making the nation extra resilient and safe from international provide threats. The added bonuses can be a discount in well being prices related to car exhaust air pollution (round $4 billion yearly) the elimination of untimely deaths brought on by car exhaust (estimated at round 1700 yearly) and a discount in CO2 emissions.
The inner combustion engine is a miracle of know-how that has served us usefully previously. It not serves us effectively. It creates liabilities in vitality safety, vitality independence, public well being, steadiness of commerce figures and emissions ranges.
The transfer to EVs is inexorable with each main auto producer dedicated to an electrical future. We’re already behind many of the developed world in implementing methods for this inevitability. Maybe the wake-up name from the Center East will assist focus the eye this crucial vulnerability calls for.