Pump prices risinig again
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  1. #1
    1000+ Posts gerry freed's Avatar
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    Default Pump prices risinig again

    After a couple of years respite petroleum demand is rising again and with it, the price. This is flowing straight through to the pump prices of diesel and petrol in France. Super is over 1.50 euros now. Economists are warning the public that this is a stable long term trend and that they should prepare for the social changes that will unfold.

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    Icon3 Or crude at less than $30 a barrel from Coal - Can it be done.

    Quote Originally Posted by gerry freed View Post
    After a couple of years respite petroleum demand is rising again and with it, the price. This is flowing straight through to the pump prices of diesel and petrol in France. Super is over 1.50 euros now. Economists are warning the public that this is a stable long term trend and that they should prepare for the social changes that will unfold.
    Thanks for that information gerry, saves me starting another fuel thread!!

    I've been following the trend for some time, there are all sorts of reasons put forward, carbon pricing and the old hoary supply and demand, market forces and of course the odd one or two stories about oil running out at the present rate of usage (depends on what information you are prepared to trust and believe) but, there is also a strong interest in converting liquified coal into a light synthetic crude that can be easily refined into petrol/diesel fuels.

    Last year there was a breakthrough of sorts, as the following article shows. source:

    http://www.wfaa.com/news/gasoline-84801677.html

    ARLINGTON - How would you like to buy gasoline made from $30 domestic coal versus $75 imported oil?

    Researchers at the Unviersity of Texas at Arlington say they've found a practical way to make synthetic crude from inexpensive coal that's common in Texas.

    People have been turning coal into oil for 100 years or more, but researchers at UTA say they've invented a better way to do it.
    This is East Texas lignite coal. We go from that to this really nice liquid," said Professor Brian Dennis of a light synthetic crude, easily refined into gasoline.

    Professor Dennis and a team of scientists have been working on the process for about a year-and-a-half.

    "I had the idea for this while I was walking to my car," he said. "I ran back to the lab and I started drawing it out in my notebook."

    They only showed News 8 an early model reactor which doesn't look like much. The current reactor design is secret, extremely efficient, and emits no pollution, the UTA scientists said.

    "We're improving the cost every day. We started off sometime ago at an uneconomical $17,000 a barrel. Today, we're at a cost of $28.84 a barrel," said engineering dean Rick Billo.

    That's $28 a barrel versus $75 we pay now for imported crude.

    Texas lignite coal is dirt cheap - less than $18 a ton. A ton of coal will produce up to 1.5 barrels of oil.

    UTA researchers expect micro-refineries to be built within a year, turning coal into cheap oil and producing new jobs.

    It's still fossil fuel, but scientists say it could bridge the gap until greener technologies catch up.
    IF the USA moved away from burning coal for producing electricity and like France adopted a nuclear based electricity power generation system, it is said that the USA could be free of dependence upon imported oil by 2020 a relatively short time.

    The only fly in the ointment is the possibility that oil companies will try and secure the patent rights over the process and thus their dominance of the refining and motor fuel industry.

    There is some real excitement as the Nuclear power industry gears up for a massive leap forward in the use of Thorium reactors that could actually bring this changeover to a head in the United states.

    Similarly in Australia, there is also some interest in the process and at under $30 a barrel, dumped in the market mix this would be the greatest opportunity to take advantage of energy security. BUT the technology needs to be developed and controlled by the Australian Government and only the distribution and retail sales be accomplished through the normal retail distribution network after refining ON SHORE!

    I will edit and post additional links, as the site jibs at adding multiple links in the original post.

    Additional links to articles related to moving from imported oil to converted coal and shifting electricity power generation to Nuclear. this article is proposed by an Australian Climate researcher, so has local interest as his comments and charts show.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/01/0...20/#more-30744
    US Energy Independence by 2020
    Posted on January 1, 2011 by Anthony Watts

    Guest post by David Archibald

    Ira Glickstein’s post promoting clean coal has prompted me to offer a few slides from a presentation I had prepared. One of the things that gets me about clean coal is that the same people who are urging restraint are quite happy to halve the life of our coal reserves.

    My thesis is that the rising oil price will drive inter-fuel substitution to the highest value markets, which are those transport applications that require a high-density liquid fuel with good storage characteristics – essentially diesel and jet fuel. Coal will be substituted for oil into the transport fuels market. That in turn will make it too valuable to burn for power generation, in which nuclear will substitute for coal. I am a thorium nut as well as a coal-to-liquids (CTL) proponent. The nuclear industry has financed a lot of the AGW hysteria, as they saw this as the only way they could sell nuclear plants against coal. They needn’t have bothered. At the current oil price and above, coal is diesel that is waiting to go through a CTL plant. At US$120 per barrel, it becomes worthwhile to close existing coal-fired power generation and replace it with nuclear, taking the hit on the capital charge of the idled coal plant.

    Some people call for US energy independence but have no practical idea of how that could be achieved. Others, strangely, rail against the concept. So, here follows a plan for US energy independence by 2020. The technology exists and it is costed and affordable.

    Read the rest of his article as linked for additional information graphs etc.

    Total energy usage is shaping up as the great leap forward in the environmental and economists schemes towards energy security for the future. Particularly, as to the known limitations of alternative sources of base power generation during extreme cold weather conditions.

    Ken.
    Last edited by Kenfuego; 3rd January 2011 at 10:06 PM. Reason: Add explanatory links...

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    Would the lowering of the value of the Euro have something to do with it too?
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    .....and the only thing holding our fuel costs down is the strength of our dollar, though I'm sure the oil companies are doing their best to find a way of gouging more out of us...

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    I can see a surge in smaller Citroen and Renault coming on...

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    But it's coal, and coal is evil and makes hair grow on your palms...

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    It's interesting that increasing fuel prices warrants a thread, yet decreasing fuel prices doesn't.

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    1000+ Posts gerry freed's Avatar
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    The problem in France has nothing to do with propaganda by various interest groups or profiteering by the oil companies.
    On the one hand the Chinese and Indians are increasing their demand for petrol by putting more cars on the road per annum than the the US and much of it is first time car ownership. Their manufacturing economies still have double digit growth and petroleum is a key raw material.
    Net result is that demand is rising and like any other free market, that pushes up prices, even more so when global reserves are finite. Market forces are such that supplies will go to those with the most efficent economies who can afford to dictate the prices to gain what they need.

    On the other hand, France has an inefficent economy, it is heavily in debt and has in place a social security system and work ethic which are just not competitive. Net result, the French have to lower their standard of living to regain economic relevance. This manifests itself in a falling value of the currency, increasing taxation, higher prices and lower consumption.

    As prices at the pump rise so the car market responds as it has, to more economical smaller vehicles and the beginnings of the move to electric power. More significant socially and this is the economists' alert, is that for many the geography of work, home and services that worked when petrol was cheap is now not so smart. Expected are drops in prices of houses in outer suburbs and increases in the centre of town. Movement of shopping away from out of town supermarkets back to local high street, increased demands on public transport and the growth of rental on demand vehicles.

    No one is suggesting that France has the capacity to influence the global forces that it is up against and the response is filtering down fast to pressure on the individual French family.
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    Quote Originally Posted by odysseus View Post
    It's interesting that increasing fuel prices warrants a thread, yet decreasing fuel prices doesn't.
    An inconvenient truth ...

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Pump prices risinig again-melbourne-1-.jpg  

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    Icon14 Dealing with market pressures and rising prices. Initial pain but longer term?

    Quote Originally Posted by gerry freed View Post
    The problem in France has nothing to do with propaganda by various interest groups or profiteering by the oil companies.
    On the one hand the Chinese and Indians are increasing their demand for petrol by putting more cars on the road per annum than the the US and much of it is first time car ownership. Their manufacturing economies still have double digit growth and petroleum is a key raw material.
    Net result is that demand is rising and like any other free market, that pushes up prices, even more so when global reserves are finite. Market forces are such that supplies will go to those with the most efficent economies who can afford to dictate the prices to gain what they need.

    On the other hand, France has an inefficent economy, it is heavily in debt and has in place a social security system and work ethic which are just not competitive. Net result, the French have to lower their standard of living to regain economic relevance. This manifests itself in a falling value of the currency, increasing taxation, higher prices and lower consumption.

    As prices at the pump rise so the car market responds as it has, to more economical smaller vehicles and the beginnings of the move to electric power. More significant socially and this is the economists' alert, is that for many the geography of work, home and services that worked when petrol was cheap is now not so smart. Expected are drops in prices of houses in outer suburbs and increases in the centre of town. Movement of shopping away from out of town supermarkets back to local high street, increased demands on public transport and the growth of rental on demand vehicles.

    No one is suggesting that France has the capacity to influence the global forces that it is up against and the response is filtering down fast to pressure on the individual French family.
    I agree with you gerry

    Many European countries are in the same bind, however there is quite some envy from other areas of the world when they see France at a time when other countries cannot produce enough electricity because they did not embrace Nuclear Power generation are heavily penalized, doubly so when faced with the same rising domestic fuel prices and also having to move to less efficient (in peak demand periods) alternative power sources, like wind power to stay within clean energy targets.

    France is seen in the fortunate position to be able to sell off excess Nuclear generated electricity power production and also export the Nuclear power technology and plants (see comments on the sites I listed) I am not aware of the coal reserves of France and any advantage you might have in offsetting the rising motor fuel prices by way of moving coal production to rank as an alternative to imported oil and damp down the effects of rising oil prices or at least keeping them to a level that adaptation and change in lifestyle, transport are adversely effected for the poorer of those in our own communities.

    While we were in Sweden recently the same factors and social concerns have placed strains on absorbing new migrants and other economic considerations that the country will have to deal with including lack of oil production, some raised comparisons with the relative economic wealth of the Norwegians, though I felt that their good industrial relations and excellent public transport infrastructure would see Sweden through those problems and the impact of ever rising fuel prices.

    If and it is a big IF, coal liquification truly can produce a barrel of crude for under US $30, and it seems that this fact is also known within the oil Industry (Mobil have been working on one such process)
    this might take the pressure off, but only if a free market situation is allowed to flourish. In any case France at least has the option of promoting use of electric vehicles to use excess electricity production, and in the long term this economic advantage should filter down to buffer the worst effected in that country.

    Here in Australia we have the resources, the alternatives with massive coal reserves and probably with the move away from using Brown Coal and old technology at the Hazelwood Power Station, this will free up an abundance of coal more suited to diverting into transport fuel production. Just needs the political will to make the same decisions that are being made today in India, China, Japan to rapidly build both coal fired and nuclear power plants to secure their long term need for electricity power and thus industrial security in the future.

    Whatever happens our Australian coal WILL be burned, used or converted somewhere in the world if not reserved for our energy future. The thorium reactors, their safety, and lacking concerns about producing any weapons grade by product, as well as minimal and relatively low grade residue are worthy of consideration - a win win situation in an era of market driven pricing, who knows if this is the trend over the next ten years we may be in for a new era of long term lower energy prices as long as groups or companies can't manipulate or dominate the technology or streams of production.

    As I see it, humans and technology will adapt especially if the near future involves more cold weather. Whether the planet and humans can adapt in harmony will remain a goal for all of us.

    Some links that may indicate the political and industrial will to take these steps mindful of safety and security and ethically dealing with issues.

    http://energyfromthorium.com/

    http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/e...-of-the-future


    Fast breeder reactor aeries of comments.
    http://bravenewclimate.com/category/...nd-discussion/


    Discusses Hyperion and its equally impressive 25 MWe Hyperion Power Module.
    http://theresilientearth.com/?q=cont...s-atomic-folly



    Hopefully France having already made many of those decisions will be that much further ahead of all of us and their citizens will likewise benefit in the long run.



    Ken.
    Last edited by Kenfuego; 4th January 2011 at 03:11 AM. Reason: add links

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    An interesting set of numbers on power, how much needs to be generated, and the number of power plants needed. - the relevant part starts at about 1.56




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    Icon14 Simple but to the point - even though based on the wrong reasons!

    While for me, the actual carbon and climate thing is shaping up as a non event, due to some scientists trying to simplify and link climate to C 02 levels. Its not that simple and Climate and weather will do mainly what it always has done - challenge us puny humans.

    It is grappling with future energy and the best environmental way of producing sufficient energy, to buy time for mankind to adapt to whatever the future may hold, that will ultimately make the difference, give us the capacity to help our fellow man and allow sharing in the fruits of new forms of energy and food production.

    I have seen similar numbers for the amount of both coal fired and nuclear plants, that will be required by china to keep up with its future demands, I wonder too if their planned schedule of construction can be maintained.

    If the fusion process can be fast tracked, there is abundant Thorium to provide power, even in the poorest nations, once the size and cost of power plants are reduced. I think that goal will be the saving grace for the energy needs of the planet and give us time to look after, nurture, conserve other commodities and raw materials through recycling, with the goal of moving away from consumer fad dominance of casting off the old for the latest and greatest.

    Some good back of the envelope work there for those that want to think about it, the ways and means of doing something rather than regulating us back to the dark ages and living in caves. At least there is some hope of making something good for the future.

    That's my take on this anyway. that it is better to move positively, invent and adapt than impotently sit still and wail!

    Mind you, the past shows that even for idealistic reasons, exploiters will still try to gain the upper hand in any shift of energy control and distribution or, exploitation of essential components, availability of needed raw or rare materials. So its understandable that China is clamping down on the export of rare earth material essential in making magnetic materials for high tech electric motors etc. Shortage does spur science to invent alternatives through!!

    I really don't think there is any other alternative to mass production of energy even if only for warmth, cooling and enhanced food production.

    Thanks for the information. I guess time will tell if the message is well received.

    AND the world can mobilize itself to secure future energy for all.


    Ken
    Last edited by Kenfuego; 5th January 2011 at 12:36 AM. Reason: clarity edit.

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    When you guys talked about this coal-to-fuel transition it had me thinking.... Here we have a similar plant called SASOL, actually found in 1955 on a small farm around Johannesburg if I'm correct. here is a writing about it, that I would like to share with you guys

    Sasol is a global petrochemical group producing fuels and chemicals. Sasol Limited, the holding company of the Sasol group, is jointly listed on the Johannesburg and New York stock exchanges.
    Sasol's primary business is based on CTL (coal-to-liquid) and GTL (gas-to-liquid) technology and this differentiates it from other petrochemical companies. CTL and GTL plants convert coal and natural gas respectively into liquid fuels. Sasol's early experience was in South Africa. Sasol's original CTL plant at Sasolburg was commissioned in 1955. It was subsequently converted into a GTL facility and is still in operation today. Two large CTL production facilities were commissioned in the early 1980s in Secunda and now form the single largest and most profitable asset in Sasol's global portfolio. In the early 1990s, at the request of the South African Government, Sasol licensed a GTL process to PetroSA, the South African state-owned oil company. This plant is also still in operation today.
    During the mid-1990s, Sasol sought to globalise by approaching natural gas and coal resource owners to form CTL and GTL joint venture companies. Sasol owns a stake in the Oryx GTL plant in Qatar that was commissioned in 2007.[3] Sasol, Petronas, and Uzbekneftegaz have signed an agreement to establish a joint venture for developing the Uzbekistan GTL project.[4][5] Sasol also had an economic interest in the Escravos GTL plant, which is currently being constructed in Nigeria and is due to be commissioned in 2011. Sasol is currently also conducting feasibility studies relating to potential CTL plants in China and South Africa.
    There are four basic phases in a CTL or GTL plant: (i) gasifying the coal into synthesis gas or reforming natural gas into synthesis gas, which is primarily a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen; (ii) purification of the synthesis gas to remove impurities such as sulphur; (iii) turning the gas into a liquid; and (iv) processing that liquid into fuel.
    Apart from the GTL and CTL businesses Sasol also has a widely diversified chemical business. A number of chemicals are extracted from the FT processes. These include solvents, co-monomers, ethylene, propylene and Fischer Tropsch waxes. Sasol also produces ammonia and associated downstream fertilisers and explosives. Sasol has a global polymers business which produces polymers in South Africa and has joint venture interests in cracker and polymer ventures in the Middle East and Asia. In 2001 Sasol acquired the chemical business of Condea which produces olefins and surfactants primarily in Europe and the USA.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sasol
    mmmm

    Just absolutely funny, our petrol prices are increasing every second month, although this is a "cheaper" solution??? The imported fuels (shell BP etc) has the same price as the local produced fuel)??I don't know, although the whole world is jumping on the alternative cheaper fuel band wagon, the consumer still suffer, why??? Yup the richer will get richer and the poorer poorer...

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    Icon10 No PC thoughts, now now!!

    mmmm

    Just absolutely funny, our petrol prices are increasing every second month, although this is a "cheaper" solution??? The imported fuels (shell BP etc) has the same price as the local produced fuel)??I don't know, although the whole world is jumping on the alternative cheaper fuel band wagon, the consumer still suffer, why??? Yup the richer will get richer and the poorer poorer...

    Cheers
    Corne

    Careful Corne, lest the A/F thought police seek to re-educate you and the rest of us for even daring to think like that!!!

    Actually while I was checking the background to the articles on the use of the thorium Reactor and switch to alternative sources for transport fuel. It was mentioned that South Africa because of necessity bought on by the years of political isolation of South Africa, that South Africa was well ahead in its production of alternative fuel from coal.

    Unfortunately it seems that some habits from the Oil industry base history seem to have worked its way into SASOL's operational credo, for the "worst" it has to be said.

    In 2009 Sasol agreed to pay an administrative penalty of R188-million as part of a settlement agreement with the Competition Commission of South Africa for alleged price fixing, in which a competitor alleged that Sasol was abusing its dominance in the markets for fertilisers by charging excessive prices for certain products.

    Sasol also had to pay a €318-million fine to the European Commission (EC), which is about R7,9-billion, for participating in a paraffin wax cartel. Despite its indication that it would appeal the fine amount, the full amount had to be paid to the EC within three months of the fine being issued.
    Its seems your Competition authority is more active and suspicious than our Competition Authority, maybe they did actually investigate rather than merely accepting endless graphs and charts put out by the industry as "look we didn't dun it mister" a new form of don't look and you won't find - its all squeaky clean and above board just like we told you!!.

    Either way you get the feeling you are being right royally scr..wed err scrooged! but we must not think like that!!

    Regards Ken

    lets see how your cricketers deal with the all conquering English!!

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    Im telling you it's a conspiracy

    Ok fair enough but still think ,like you said, I believe we are getting scrooged LOL. I don't want to say more because I can't link the info I had to any website. just give wikileaks a chance But fuel here has a certain price before taxes etc. But 100kilometer from me I can fill my car for 3 quarter of the price here at home and the is fuel made here??

    Im too stupid to understand this way of doing things, shouldn't your own country benifit from it's resources before it's exported? What's the use of having this massive resourses but still pay almost outrageous prices? Our pump price recently hovered at 1.80 euros a litre?

    But like you pointed out ,Ken, we shouldn't think like that haha we should just be happy being scrooged because we can't live without it in any way....

    So just accept and be happy

    Cheers
    Corne

    It's koeberg power station in Cape town you are talking about. think it's a 10 km radius that you aren't allowed to enter in any way around the power station.

    I'll have a look at the cricket Last watched the match between SA and India, another conspiracy
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    Hi All,
    I was on site at Secunda in the late 70's and early 80's doing installation and commissioning on the 2 "new" SASOL plants. They are called SASOL 2 & SASOL 3.
    A similar discussion at the time about having cheaper petrol led to the following reason.

    In the 50's SA borrowed money to fund this fuel from coal project and an oil company was the supplier of the money. In the contract was a clause that SASOL would never sell fuel cheaper than the opposition. I think it would have been a standard clause because it makes sense if you think like a bussiness man. However, this was hearsay and none of us have ever seen this contract.

    Regards
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    1000+ Posts gerry freed's Avatar
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    France was used to a lack of competition in pump prices when the oil companies were government controlled. Now they are more private sector and globalised. The main outlets have become the supermarket chains and they have got there by purchasing in large volumes and discounting relative to the traditional tied garage outlets.The room to play is small because the tax is a large portion of the retail price. and the government needs the money.
    One response to the price curve has resulted in the benefits quoted in another thread. France sells some of the most frugal cars on the world market.
    Think Global - Ride on Spheres

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    Icon14 Economy to conserve or make the most of a resource - good!

    Quote Originally Posted by gerry freed View Post
    France was used to a lack of competition in pump prices when the oil companies were government controlled. Now they are more private sector and globalised. The main outlets have become the supermarket chains and they have got there by purchasing in large volumes and discounting relative to the traditional tied garage outlets.The room to play is small because the tax is a large portion of the retail price. and the government needs the money.
    One response to the price curve has resulted in the benefits quoted in another thread. France sells some of the most frugal cars on the world market.
    gerry

    I think the depressive effect high priced fuel has on design of motor cars for everyday transport, has been one of the best things to emerge in the design and development of super-efficient fuel using cars.

    Its taken a bit of the glamour and zing out of marketing, and environmental concern ensures that this will continue into the future. The tax and excise thing is another issue and another agenda. Taxing need will always be there while we have governments tinkering around the edges of social reform, enviro- re-engineering of economies, while also, shoring up local industries and manufacturing with sometimes cosy deals.

    In there somewhere is the nicely invented industry words "parity pricing" which is a form of feather bedding to avoid the full effects of truly competitive market pricing - local industry says it needs this advantage to do all the things a government might require of it, including building and maintaining local work force and strategic equipment (like refineries and extraction of raw materials, remote distribution, cost sharing etc.) Some will say this protects and cushions the broader market effects, but if not watched and monitored aggressively, it can become a comfortable secretive method of increasing and padding out profits. it can be a two edged sword in that respect.

    In the South African situation it seems you can have the "commercial in confidence" funding contracts that have a built in factor to prevent undercutting against other fuel sources and at some stage government support while maintaining a public illusion of market competition - i.e. one has the capacity to reap millions while providing an illusion of a few cents saving by token competition.

    Some industries are very skilled at creating that illusion and that also suits governments that also reap similar benefits while ignoring the underlying ill to the end consumer, who gets none of the real benefits that could accrue from genuine unrestrained world market forces.

    Its like a mutual benefit thing, when the last great glut of the 70's ensured plummeting world oil prices, similarly the tax excise take fell for governments, but the end consumer was temporarily delighted to get any relief at the pump. My take on this was that the industries and governments worked hand in hand to create a less volatile situation with lots of justifications used as "compelling reasons" why they should - and that is the way lobbyists work towards convincing legislators to come to that way of thinking - not a "conspiracy" as such, just conscience adjustment.

    "Conspiracy", is then re-badged and re-engineered as a "label" that is applied to any "nutter" that would dare to think out loud and question the end results of such arrangements and of course a good way of silencing the so called silent majority of upset consumers!!

    So I guess its like it or lump it. Or better still learn from it and make sure that when organising competing technology, that new technology is free of anti-competitive influence at its root funding i.e. that new mass energy sources are not dominated by the practices of less competitive established industries, that pricing to use old established distribution streams, refineries, transport, and infrastructure are fair and properly regulated for anti competitive bias.

    That way you get the best of the new technology, the community gets the best of return in the efficient and clean use of resources in its interest and the customer feels they are getting the best deal possible in the circumstances. Well that's my dream of perfect governance and placement of technology, science, and reward in a primarily democratic, but socially conscious country. Others will surely differ and I know the real world has its own demons to deal with.

    Meanwhile prices will escalate as illusions or reality of scarcity, supply, unrest, weather, or other factors emerge to disrupt the highly evolved world commodity market - err don't say or mention cartell, feather bedding, comfort zone, price maintenance or commercial in confidence agreements, lest you get labelled... They are all surely innocent and employ lots of people spreading the wealth, for the good of all, you understand..

    Say's he while dipping into an empty .......

    So I have high hope much could be achieved for all the world with a shift to generating base power load electricity for mainstream energy and industry needs (power light and heating) by use of thorium fusion plants and conversion of coal to petrol at the cheapest most convenient price.




    Ken

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    Default the nature of "parity pricing"

    from WA Fuelwatch website...

    http://www.fuelwatch.wa.gov.au/info/...rol_prices.cfm

    Singapore Benchmark

    Central to the price of petrol in Australia is the price petrol is selling for overseas. Successive Commonwealth Governments since 1977 have adopted an import parity pricing policy to determine national pricing levels for all motor fuels. This means the domestic price for petrol in Australia is linked to international petrol prices to ensure local refiners will not sell their [products] offshore to obtain higher prices (and potentially leave no fuel for the local market).

    Under Australia's import parity policy, Singapore is used as the price benchmark for most fuel because of its proximity and because it is the largest refining centre in the region. The LPG benchmark is set in Saudi Arabia, Australia’s largest source of imported LPG. This price is used as a basis for LPG sales internationally.

    The Singapore benchmark can be impacted by supply and demand issues, such as the general availability of petrol on the world market.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gerry freed View Post
    After a couple of years respite petroleum demand is rising again and with it, the price. This is flowing straight through to the pump prices of diesel and petrol in France. Super is over 1.50 euros now. Economists are warning the public that this is a stable long term trend and that they should prepare for the social changes that will unfold.
    Bugger, guess my plans of moving to Luxembourg and driving a C63 are in tatters then
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    Quote Originally Posted by gerry freed View Post
    On the other hand, France has an inefficent economy, it is heavily in debt and has in place a social security system and work ethic which are just not competitive.
    Well said.
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    Icon5 Proving by reversed onus law or are motorists the only prey!!

    Ah

    back to the old meme, its all hunky dory, forget the past bad behaviour the cartel activity, collusive anti competitive contracts..hmmn. its all Lily white.

    Well in Australia even Chris Bowen the Minister responsible was telling us it wasn't so they were bringing in goal sentences to sort the industry out. Part of his interview with a Fuel watch advocate.

    CHRIS BOWEN:

    It's theft, it's white collar theft from consumers and there needs to be a very strong message sent. And that message is sent through a jail term.

    Now we've announced today, that no longer will this just be a matter of fines but you'll have a ten year jail term. Now that will mean that Australia has equally the highest, the longest jail term, for these sorts of offences, ten years together with the United States. It's a well balanced package, we've spent a lot of time working it through; very vexed issues, very complicated but it's a big package, a major reform and a big step forward for ensuring that consumers don't get ripped off.
    The trouble is that when you start jailing people, you open pandora's box especially in Australia's legal system as it stands. You just have to look at the Visy case and that was pure luck that one of the parties to cartel activities panicked and dobbed in the other - a walk up start to an investigation,and even then unlikely to have survived a full prosecution drag through the courts, and of course Richard Pratt died before the legal battle started.

    This is a comment on the proposed cartel jailing provisions that took so long to formulate and then in the end were watered down, further complicating the process.

    The drafting of the exception for joint ventures under the Bill requires that the cartel provision be ‘for the purposes of a joint venture’. However, as Fisse has pointed out, ‘there is no explicit requirement that the provision be for the “sole or dominant purposes” of a joint venture. This laxity opens the way for competitors to create “Mickey Mouse” joint venture arrangements in order to avoid the per se prohibitions against cartel conduct.
    That's just one of many legal loopholes that have watered down the traditional open meaning of what constitutes cartel activity like price fixing.

    If you move part of your operations into the jurisdiction of a third party and make many "mickey mouse" "joint venture" arrangements, you can hide behind normal international business trading arrangements and take active rather than passive steps to protect your trading position and multiplier profit margins and with legislation that you could drive the proverbial horse and cart through, not much chance of being caught unless you are stupid, careless and don't cover your tracks with careful legal (the best money can buy) advice and skate round the plain meaning of cartel price fixing.

    this was trhe type of activity section 45 envisaged.

    45(1) Every person commits an offence who, with a competitor of that person with respect to a product, conspires, agrees or arranges

    (a) to fix, maintain, increase or control the price for the supply of the product;

    (b) to allocate sales, territories, customers or markets for the production or supply of the product; or

    (c) to fix, maintain, control, prevent, lessen or eliminate the production or supply of the product.
    Not bad, But then there is an addition.

    The offence is subject to a defense of ancillary restraint under s 45(4).
    Now that is only a small portion of the get out of jail provisions. To be fair I suppose in other countries the legislation has been so unrestricted as it needs to be to catch devious and well funded offending companies it could also be used against a group of companies that agreed to break from one cartel and seek to dominate and contain supply from a cheaper source with the grand and worthy purpose of giving consumers access to a cheaper price (i.e. petrol) but of course in the process using that advantage to enrich their own businesses - noble but corrupt but SOME would say good business if you can get it

    So to avoid borderline cases where the fine line of legal and illegal business is easily interposed the definitions are watered down or made impossible to prove.

    Chris Bowen did have this to say and the ACCC have trumpeted - you will be caught (if you are careless or in the remote chance we might be able to get a case up to the start line in our court system)

    Now one of the problems with these cartels is that they're often secretive, so we are giving the ACCC the power to tap telephones in conjunction with the Federal Police. The Federal Police will do it on behalf of the ACCC. They'll seek a warrant from the judicial officer and they'll be able to tap telephones of the responsible people to prove in court that these cartels have been operated.
    Not so fast - if the cartel activity is born and bred in an international jurisdiction.!!

    Oh well any more legal loopholes, well they are just poor innocent business people in a hard business area and looking after your interests after all...

    Well what a P poor effort I say - contrast the nice considerations for the big business corporations, but where the average motorist is concerned (speed camera legislation) the ONUS of proof is shifted and the prosecution doesn't have to prove anything beyond submitted a certificate that is prima facie that YOU commited the offence they allege. The legal onus is on you the driver to prove your innocence, which is just about nigh on impossible the way they have the law rigged!


    CHRIS BOWEN:

    Without a doubt Gary, of course most companies do the right thing and this is really unfair to those companies who do the right thing, by those cartel operators. It's unfair to consumers. It's also unfair to businesses out there doing the right thing trying to get the best price and they're being unfairly disadvantaged by some businesses running cartels and price fixing. So it's about doing the right thing by consumers and also about doing the right thing by those businesses who are fair dinkum.

    Well Chris Bowen, I reckon the motorists also deserve some of your nice legal considerations As I see it most of the motorists are trying hard to be good citizens and stay within the law, and those fair dinkum motorists deserve a fair shake too!!


    It would be nice to see higher speed tolerances and more warnings for the careful but "inadvertant speeder" that Ken Lay says, are the main low level offenders hit by these infallible cameras!! Make the tolerance the same as the Australian Design Rules to ensure that warnings and alternative discretion is applied- reserve the punitive provisions for those that grossly exceed over that marginal tolerance level.

    But that would be commonsense, wouldn't it, same as reversing the onus asking the price adjusters, to justify each rise in a court of law, and the same for cartel activity, if it looks and smells like cartell activity then reversed onus law would make it a prima facie offence for them to disprove.

    Whats good for the goose, is good for the gander Mate!!

    Ken
    Last edited by Kenfuego; 7th January 2011 at 01:45 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kenfuego View Post
    It would be nice to see higher speed tolerances and more warnings for the careful but "inadvertant speeder" that Ken Lay says, are the main low level offenders hit by these infallible cameras!! Make the tolerance the same as the Australian Design Rules to ensure that warnings and alternative discretion is applied- reserve the punitive provisions for those that grossly exceed over that marginal tolerance level.

    Ken
    radar and laser, like all radio waves, are infallible, but sometimes defendants are able to leverage off their position in the community to get off charges despite having broken the law.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kenfuego View Post
    But that would be commonsense, wouldn't it, same as reversing the onus asking the price adjusters, to justify each rise in a court of law, and the same for cartel activity, if it looks and smells like cartell activity then reversed onus law would make it a prima facie offence for them to disprove.
    Ken
    'reversed onus' is and always will be a disgraceful attack on strong human rights, and nothing more than an expedient way for the State to convict more people without putting up proper evidence. even then, however, it can only work where there is a self evident harm for which a culprit 'must' be found; it cannot logically be applied where the issue is whether there is a harm, or not. not that bad logic ever got in the way of convicting people.

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    radar and laser, like all radio waves, are infallible
    What a stupid stupid thing to say...We arent talking about "radio waves"...we are talking about the "technology" behind the measuring instruments....its certainly is not infallible.... This is why its serviced and calibrated...If like you say...ITS INFALLIBLE,... then such service, maintenance and calibration would not be required...

    WTF is happening to you Alexander...You ve gone from being somebody that spoke sense...made valuable and solid arguments to behavior that is more recognizable as immature and "trollish"*
    Can we have the old Alexander back...smart, funny, sensible....



    dino


    *copyright 2011
    Last edited by dino; 7th January 2011 at 02:32 AM.

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    Icon6 No worries, situation normal.

    Its o.k. We all suffer from twisted logic at times as I pointed out in Mr Bowen's statement. Some say its o.k. for oil companies to get off due to their position in the community - read their press. So I guess its o.k. to take a cheap shot - occasionally!!

    I "know" that errors occur with radar, that's why tolerances are applied and discretion used when issues are raised. Integrity and all that!

    Ken

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