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The Times: Letters to the Editor

Sir, The absurdity of the Tory proposal to “ration” air travel is that any such restriction on aviation fuel consumption will soon be overtaken by the event of oil depletion (“Growing costs ‘put Shetland oilfield plans in jeopardy’,” Business, March 12 ). This reports aligns you with the often scorned “peak oilers” club in heralding the rising costs of upstream oil production. Ominously, ExxonMobil, Shell and BP have opted to buy back their shares rather than increase exploration and development expenditure to augment their falling “booked” oil reserves. For nonOpec companies the peak in oil production was passed in 2005.

Without the burden of taxation, jet fuel costs will rise considerably and will be of insufficient quantity to fuel the expansion in air travel envisaged by the Department of Transport. The first to suffer will be the aircraft builders. As runways revert to parking lots for aircraft with empty tanks, orders for new planes will be cancelled.

Miliband and Cameron need to temper their enthusiasm for carbon reduction with the reality of resource depletion. The emptying of the world’s fuel tank will bring the reduction in emissions they seek and climate change will stall. The change in lifestyle they want us to embrace will be forced on us rather than coerced by taxation.


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