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Highway bloody robbery!

old man emu

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I'm sick and tired of being robbed by the gang of highway robbers lead by Oily Company and his flock of squawking Pollies. And I reckon the local sherrif, A Tripplesea is in cahoots with them.


I went out on Saturday morning get a few ingredients to make a Christmas pudding and noticed that E10 was $1.29 per litre (before fuel docket). I returned home about 11.00 am with the bits and pieces that I bought and found that I needed some other things. I grabbed a petrol docket and went to refuel my car while I was out again. Lo and behold! The price had jumped to $1.47 per litre - 18 cents for why?


All the servos along my local gasoline alley upped the price at the same time, but none of them had received a delivery of fresh fuel. Did I miss something at the G20 conference that caused a world war to erupt? No. The news said the G20 dignitaries were at a bar-b-que.


So what was it that added $10.80 to a 60 litre tank of fuel? Collusion between the oil companies, pure and simple. That's illegal, isn't it?


Should I complain to the Federal Government? Pretty useless. The price hike scored them 1.8 cents per litre, or $1.08 per tank, in GST revenue.


Should I complain to the ACCC? Damned useless. They have carried out a number of rigorous inquiries into collusion between oil companies and found that the suggestion of such collusion is ridiculous and unfounded.


I suppose I should just man up and express my thanks to all of those politically astute Australian voters who put that budgie-smuggling, mouse-that-roared into the Lodge.


But bugger you lot! I didn't fill up!


Old Man Emu



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So, OME, are you still walking? Surely you don't expect government of the people, by da rabbit, for the people?

I can still run the pants off a kangaroo ... just.


Yes. This collusion did go on under the Labor Government. I suppose that my gripe is that Parliament sets up bodies like the ACCC, pours the sheckles in, and then realises that they've made a rod its own back and ignores the body's reports.


It all reeks of "Taxation without Representation" to me. What if we nationalised the oil industry?


Old Man Emu



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Slightly off topic but it blowing a gale and stinking hot today so I'm not flying here goes, a reminder of the giants that allow use to use liquid transportation fuel:


From Wikipedia


History of technology


By technological eras



Its no big stretch to see that each age was built on the previous one where the technology captured became mature and economically available. Eventually that technology was superseded by something better (more convenient or reliable not necessarily cheaper). Examples:


  • Bronze gave way to steel
  • Wind and water power gave way to steam powered flour and textile mills
  • Steam gave way to diesel or electrification for rail transport
  • Mail gave way to fax which in turn gave way to email and electronic ink
  • Wired phones and public phone boxes gave way to WiFi and 4G


Some things are currently without mass produced readily available substitute. Examples:


  • Private transport (foot, bicycle or car)
  • Base load electricity for night consumption
  • Wood from trees (a natural composite fibre used in cheap shelter and soaking up gasses from the atmosphere)
  • Biological systems that create breathable air
  • Food, Water, Sanitation
  • Offspring


So with your free market hat on, you can pay $1.47/l at night with the service station lights on for transportation fuel that is safely, conveniently and regularly delivered to your nearest town centre, turn on a tap in a public park for your dog to have a drink, pay tax and rates ... or not. Eventually that $1.47 will become $1.87 then $2.87 which is about what Avgas costs.


There has never been a better time in the history of humanity to get access to the information that will let you go mostly or totally off grid if you want to. At some time your liquid fossil fuel will be less convenient than something else. Same for grid supplied domestic electricity.


Rather than moaning about the political implications of buying Middle East crude refined in Singapore thereby indirectly funding one or possibly more authoritarian regimes these people have been working on the alternatives:






There is nothing stopping any of us from joining them or benefitting from the developments so far - backyard electric car conversion anyone?



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It does appear to be unconscionable, but many of the retailers have been forced out of business, so although they change prices at the same time that can mean they watch each other like hawks,


adjusting price to keep customers coming in, or claw back some profit when the first phone call comes in from one of their outlets.


The second issue is the Fraser government locking us in to Singapore Crude price, and the third and biggest problem is excise, other incremental taxes and GST on the cost, margins, and excise/taxes.


Wouldn't be critical in a country like Japan where the public transport system is so good you don't need a car anywhere.


But with Australia''s population spread over vast distances, particularly that put us in the position of having to exceed the air power point of 80 km/hr (where power proportionate to frontal area is soaked up just pushing the wind out of the way), our policies are just plain wrong, working against decentralisation.



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Oil prices have dropped about 30% since mid-June as new additions to supply have surpassed growth in demand


At the same time the USD exchange rate has gone from 0.94 to 0.87 (8% decline) but the petrol is bought with Singaporean dollars (1.65 to 1.25) about a 24% decline.


Source: http://www.xe.com/currencycharts/?from=AUD&to=SGD&view=1Y


Personally I want to see cheaper NGV compressors so I can refill my compressed gas car at home overnight. No trip to the servo then but no competition either. The government sets the prices for town gas specifically because its a monopoly.


Caveat: I don't own a compressed gas car and I have never lived anywhere that had town gas appliances.



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I'm sure it's very true, just the 256th version of the story which has travelled through Europe and the USA and other parts of the world. The only problem is that about 256 different Companies/Governments/Oil Industries/Moguls bought the idea, so if it makes money each person involved only gets 1/200,000 of the fuel product, which is...............part/most/all water - available from the garden tap.



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Dunno about the $55m cheque but after 39.5 seconds of searching the internet (point 5 was for the results to be rendered)




Releasing chemical energy from water, in excess or in equal proportion to the energy required to facilitate such production, would therefore violate thefirst or second law of thermodynamics.[5][6][7][8]






In a news report on an Ohio TV station, Meyer demonstrated a dune buggy which he claimed was powered by his water fuel cell. He estimated that only 22 US gallons (83 liters) of water were required to travel from Los Angeles to New York.[11] Furthermore, Meyer claimed to have replaced the spark plugs with "injectors" which introduced a hydrogen/oxygen mixture into the engine cylinders. The water was subjected to an electrical resonance that dissociated it into its basic atomic make-up. The water fuel cell would split the water into hydrogen and oxygen gas, which would then be combusted back into water vapor in a conventionalinternal combustion engine to produce net energy.[3]


All of the perpetual motion machine inventors, zero point energy speculators and people interested in improving the brownian ratchet please form an orderly queue at the patent office and prepare to demonstrate your creation.


Back to the original thread, if anyone is concerned about paying so much for petrol or diesel, drive a smaller car. The effect is immediate and long lasting



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All I can say is, WOW!


What is this?


Will it be the next big thing?


Tata Motors of India thinks so.


What will the Oil Companies do to stop it?


It is an auto engine that runs on air. That's right; air not gas or diesel or electric but just the air around us. Take a look.




Tata Motors of India has scheduled the Air Car to hit Indian streets


The Air Car, developed by ex-Formula One engineer Guy N. For Luxembourg-based MDI, uses compressed air to push its engine's pistons and make the car go.


The Air Car, called the "Mini CAT" could cost around 365,757 rupees in India or $8,177 US.


The Mini CAT which is a simple, light urban car, with a tubular chassis, a body of fiberglass that is glued not welded and powered by compressed air. A Microprocessor is used to control all electrical functions of the car. One tiny radio transmitter sends instructions to the lights, turn signals and every other electrical device on the car. Which are not many.


The temperature of the clean air expelled by the exhaust pipe is between 0-15 degrees below zero, which makes it suitable for use by the internal air conditioning system with no need for gases or loss of power.


There are no keys, just an access card which can be read by the car from your pocket. According to the designers, it costs less than 50 rupees per 100 KM, that's about a tenth the cost of a car running on gas. It's mileage is about double that of the most advanced electric car, a factor which makes it a perfect choice for city motorists. The car has a top speed of 105 KM per hour or 60 mph and would have a range of around 300 km or 185 miles between refuels. Refilling the car will take place at adapted gas stations with special air compressors. A fill up will only take two to three minutes and costs approximately 100 rupees ($1.78 CAD!) and the car will be ready to go another 300 kilometers.


This car can also be filled at home with it's on board compressor. It will take 3-4 hours to refill the tank, but it can be done while you sleep.


Because there is no combustion engine, changing the 1 liter of vegetable oil is only necessary every 50,000 KM or 30,000 miles.


Due to its simplicity, there is very little maintenance to be done on this car.



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Interesting idea and it's being developed close to home.

The picture shows a vane motor just like the ones we were using in rail boggers 40 years ago, and I think they were 40 years old then. They have also been used on underground locomotives with a large tank of compressed air as an alternative to battery locos. Nothing new there. There are significant heat energy losses in using stored compressed air, the initial compression is not efficient.



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I never understood the Australian fuel price fluctuations.


In Poland where I come from fuel prices change once a month at most and each time it's really big deal.


So instead of getting flustered and confused by them I decided to treat them as a continuous game of chicken...


Each time I need to fill up I play this little game - do I refuel now or do I wait one more day in hope for lower price.


Sometimes I win, sometimes I lose and pay the extra 20c per litre...just makes the life more positive and exciting :)



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