"Water and Oil" in Mike Kelly's Maiden Speech in Parliament

kellym.jpg It has been a good week for peak oil in Australian politics. Andrew MacNamara (ASPO Australia Patron) launched a peak oil policy in Queensland, and Australian Democrat Sandra Kanck proposed a 'peak oil select committee' in the South Australian Legislative Council (although ASPO Australia fears for the motion's chance of success - write to your local member if you're in SA!).

Now, we have our first positive mention of peak oil by a Member of the House of Representatives, with a new MP shining a light for his new Federal Labor Government. With the Green Senators leading the campaign in the Senate, we now have at least positive indications from three of the four main parties.

Below is the relevant extract from Mike Kelly's speech. ASPO Australia welcomes this contribution to Federal Parliament.

Petrol rationing, ready in case?

Preparing for the Petrol Droughts


Short-term and long-term oil shortages are quite likely in the near future. 


We should prepare in case they do come.  When there is a water shortage, we do not let the market allocate this vital resource.  We have restrictions, regulations and community campaigns to reduce consumption.

 A smart-card sliding-scale, tradeable fuel allocation system should be designed, in case we need it in future.  Harvard economist, Martin Feldstein, chief economic advisor to President Reagan, recommended in the Wall Street Journal in 2006.  a system of tradeable gasoline rights would be better than either higher taxes or tougher new car regulations. That a majority of households could benefit from the TGR system while all households would have an increased incentive to economize on gasoline is both an economic and a political advantage. 

People with disabilities, farmers, people in outer suburbs, and those with important jobs, like hospital shift workers, should receive higher fuel allocations than those from leafy inner suburbs close to public transport.


Like water pricing, a basic minimum allowance should be cheap, and additional fuel should be available at increasingly higher prices.  Those who are frugal could sell their unused entitlements electronically to those who need more than average.


Bruce Robinson, Convenor

"Peak Oil" and now "Peak Exports"
Peak Exports
An article in the New York Times 9th December 2007 raises the increasing domestic use in oil producing countries, which is reducing their exports.   Jeff Rubin, of the Canadian Imperial Banking Corporation is quoted.  His presentation at ASPO-VI in Ireland has a lot of information
The NYT article and a couple of slides from Jeff Rubin and Rembrandt Koppelaar are available here.  Peak Exports will be what matters to Australia, and it may be coming very soon.

Wall Street Journal article  Oil Officials See Limit Looming on Production  A growing number of oil-industry chieftains are endorsing an idea long deemed fringe: The world is approaching a practical limit to the number of barrels of crude oil that can be pumped every day. Some predict that, despite the world's fast-growing thirst for oil, producers could hit that ceiling as soon as 2012....

19th International Geophysical Conference, Perth
WA Chief Scientist Professor Lyn Beazley, opened the conference on Monday, 19 November.  
Industry experts Mr Bruce Robinson, convenor of the Australian Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas   ASPO-Australia) and Saudi Aramco VP Exploration,  Mr Abdulla Al Naim, discussed the issues surrounding ‘Peak Oil’, and planning for our oil dependent society dealing with declining oil production.
Bruce's summary presentation is "The Approach of Peak Oil" and a short briefing note is available
Public transport totally inadequate for oil shocks
ASPO presentation and news release from the National Bus Industry Confederation Conference in Fremantle,
30th October 2007

Australia's public transport is completely inadequate to cope with future oil shocks, a national bus industry conference was told. 
Bruce Robinson, Convenor of the Australian Association for the Study of Peak Oil, warned of looming oil shortages when world oil production starts to decline.  A revolution or another war in the Middle East could easily create another sudden oil crisis which would make the 1973 and 1979 oil shocks look minor. 

Australian transport authorities have no serious planning in place to handle a major fuel shortage.  Existing petrol rationing plans (eg. odds and evens number plate days) fail to consider the lack of spare public transport capacity.
If petrol has to be rationed in a future oil shock, then it will be essential to ration access to public transport as well.  No Australian city has anywhere near enough public transport capacity to handle even a quarter of existing car travellers if they need to use buses and trains instead.
ASPO's Working Groups: Mid-level oil vulnerability assessment
ASPO-Australia has a broad range of working groups, aimed at looking at our oil vulnerability and the opportunities in different community sectors
These arose in part from our decion to provide sector-by sector input to the Senate Inquiry into Australia's future oil supply and alternative transport fuels.  The various submissions are listed here, in part to show the range of our interests: (These links have been updated 14-Feb-2009, as the Senate moved the submissions, which was inconvenient).  The links have been moved, again, noticed on 13-Mar-2012 to
Main submission (1.9MB)
Other working groups have been formed since, and we welcome suggestions and offers to expand the range of consideration
Children and Peak Oil
Young Professionals
Economics (pending)
Tourism (pending)
Public transport sector
Conservation and environment sector
Oil vulnerability assessment and risk management
News from ASPO conference in Ireland
News release

Oil Experts: 80 dollars per barrel is just the beginning

The world is headed towards a long period of high oil prices. That was the singular message of oil industry insiders today at the yearly conference of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas in Cork, Ireland.

James Schlesinger, former Energy Secretary of the United States told the audience that : "Increasing the supply of oil is becoming increasingly difficult. In the large oil fields of the world, such as Cantarell in Mexico and Burgan in Kuwait, oil production is rapidly decreasing. Even the heads of large oil companies, united together in the American National Petroleum Council, agree that we should decrease our consumption of crude oil rapidly by reducing our consumption and change to renewable energy sources."

His message, that the world is headed for a a long period with higher oil prices, was confirmed in speeches by amongst others Ray Leonard, Vice-President of Kuwait Energy Company, James Buckee, the CEO of independent oil company Talisman Energy and Jeff Rubin, chief economist of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.
Qld Oil Vulnerability Task Force Report
Andrew McNamaraThe Oil Vulnerability Task Force report was tabled in the Qld Parliament on Oct 11th 2007, by ASPO-Australia's patron, Qld Minister for Climate Change, Sustainability and Innovation, Hon. Andrew McNamara

Andi Hazelwood of Global Public Media broadcast an interview with Andrew McNamara, chair of the Oil Vulnerability Task Force (before its release).
The tabling of the report followed several media articles about it, with comments from ASPO Brisbane's Stuart McCarthy:
Report warns of petrol chaos: September 15, 2007 QUEENSLAND is heading for an oil shock. And it is not a matter of if, but when...
End of the Oil Age is near: September 15, 2007 It's not Doomsday yet, but if we don't act now it soon will be....
Wartime mentality needed: September 15, 2007 The world is not about to run out of oil, according to Queensland's new Minister for Sustainability Andrew McNamara.....You can also listen to Stuart McCarthy of ASPO Brisbane being interviewed by Global Public MediaSend an email to Stuart McCarthy.
Congressman Bartlett is oil-literate

Here is a recent Peak Oil presentation by Republican Roscoe Bartlett.
A member of the U.S. Congress who is energy literate!.  The new Federal Parliament should invite him to Australia.

Peak Oil Down Under

The following article is a perspective on Australia's future oil production, written by Dave Cohen from ASPO USA:

A man either lives life as it happens to him, meets it head-on and licks it, or he turns his back on it and starts to wither away.
     — Gene Roddenberry

Australia serves as a microcosm of a world entering the peak oil era.1 It can be shown beyond a reasonable doubt that Aussie oil production has peaked. As their oil companies struggle to offset production losses as demand grows, Australians must face up to the stark choices these circumstances present. One road, taken by the United States long ago, creates dangerous, ever-growing dependencies on imported oil to fill the supply and demand gap. The other road, leading to energy independence and security, spawns alternatives that allow Australia to move beyond oil. Will the Land Down Under seize the opportunity they now have to make the right choice?

Geoscience's Australian Estimates

Ian Dunlop: Climate Change & Peak Oil

An integrated policy response

 Ian Dunlop has outlined the need for an integrated policy response for Australia to the twin challenges of Peak Oil and Climate Change. Full report as submitted to the Prime Ministerial Task Group on Emissions Trading.

Climate change and peak oil are inextricably linked. Each one is a major issue in its own right, but their convergence has received minimal attention, which is unfortunate as it is likely to have far greater impact than the sum of the individual parts. Policy must ensure that solutions to the one reinforce, and do not conflict with, solutions to the other.
Preparing for the Petrol Droughts
This aims to link the alarm over climate change into a warning about Peak Oil and Petrol Droughts. 

"Don't wait for oil drought -prepare for worst"   Opinion article as below, published by the West Australian 9th February 2007 (immediately under another article, "Why PM is praying for rain")
Peak Oil: Preparing for the Petrol Droughts - Scientists who warned us for ages about climate change were ignored and derided.  Now, droughts, hotter temperatures and melting glaciers are showing the warnings should have been heeded earlier and action taken. Other scientists have warned us about Peak Oil for years and they have been similarly dismissed, probably just as unwisely. Peak Oil is when the rate of global oil production changes from its current increasing trend to the unavoidable downtrend as the world’s oil fields start their overall decline phase.  We will not run out of oil, but there will be less available each year in future than there has been in the past.

Read the full article and link to references about what Australia can do to prepare.
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