Wednesday, September 2, 2009

RON95 and CO2

I've shared with many students and even lecturers as to how the hike in petrol prices last June led to at least one friend of mine re-examining his budget. Having to pay more for fuel forced him to take a hard look.

Since then the price of fuel has gone down and if you've been spending wisely you would've felt the benefits. (Really makes one think twice about slamming the government over fuel, doesn't it?)

As of yesterday, though, the price of RON97 went up another RM0.25 cents. The country wants to encourage the use of RON95 (I bet you could tell I'm a know-it-all about petrol, right?) which is so-so in terms of comparative quality. I'm hoping RON95 is better for the environment and better aligns Malaysia to global standards but hey you never know about these things.

Frankly, after reading Thomas Friedman's Hot, Flat & Crowded, I'd be somewhat happy to see far fewer cars on Kuala Lumpur roads as is the case now. And I'm not sure I'd care what the reason was. Carbon-dioxide emissions is a serious issue so if higher prices reduce the number of cars, yippee-dooda.

Other well-worn ideas:
  • Reward folks for using public transportation
  • Create bicycle-lanes in the cities (although given the smog in the city...)
  • Tax entrance to the cities (especially cars with only one the driver inside)
  • Subsidize alternative energy research
  • Promote PhD programs working on sustainability/environmental/innovation projects (I googled 'bachelor degree sustainability malaysia' and the results weren't exactly uplifting)
  • Make CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) more available (can someone explain why only Petronas gas-stations have CNG pumps?)


U-Liang said...

My automative engineer friend isn't that keen on CNG based cars...expensive to maintain.

alwyn said...

i suspect it's also because a cheap alternative is easily available, hence the continued use of 'fuels from hell' as opposed to cleaner ones.

on the other hand, doesn't it SAVE costs too? i see the taxi guy pumping in hardly $5 each time, etc.