In Australia, the Queensland Renewable Fuels Association charged that the Australian Convenience and Petroleum Marketers Association (ACPMA) has attempted to mislead the public, by quoting negative excerpts from a recent Australian Productivity Commission report that questions the efficacy of biofuels programs in Australia.
The ACPMA statement that, “The biofuels programs in Queensland and New South Wales have largely been enacted for political reasons”, ignores the reality that Australia is nearly completely energy dependent on petroleum imports. With only three weeks, at best, of petroleum reserve should a supply interruption occur, a robust biofuels program is a responsible and appropriate action to be taken by government. Far from abandoning the Qld and NSW mandates, QRFA considers a national approach (as used in many countries) would be in the National best interest. In addition, there is independent evidence that has shown biofuels provide cleaner emissions, enhanced agricultural opportunities and job growth.
The premise that the biofuels program comes at an increased cost to motorists is patently false. In fact, the biofuels program saves motorists money at the bowser. Any increase in cost to the consumer falls squarely on the shoulders of the oil industry and the petroleum marketers, who have consistently encouraged motorists to purchase higher margin premium grades of fuel that most cars will gain no benefit from using. To blame the biofuels industry for increasing costs to motorists is disingenuous.
The ACPMA states that the Queensland Government has been, “Swamped with large numbers of biofuels exemption requests”, but fails to mention that they continue to encourage their members to do so, for even the slightest of reasons. This intentionally orchestrated push-back is designed to put pressure on the government to abandon the program as unworkable. To quote the ACAPMA, “The ACAPMA is deeply involved in helping NSW and Queensland fuel retailers understand the new laws and the circumstances in which an exemption could be considered”.
Encouraging the use of biofuels, rather than discouraging their use, would be a more appropriate strategy for the ACPMA. It would demonstrate concern for a tangible action to improve Australia’s energy security and our environment, the trade group said.