Roland Dürre
Monday April 11th, 2011

Diesel

After they had reported about the nuclear, the Libya and the Euro catastrophes, the Süddeutschen finally wrote about the Diesel catastrophe this weekend.

What happened? For a change, the EU saw something that is correct. They now actually know that one litre of Diesel has a higher energy potential than one litre of petrol. With total logic, they decided that it is therefore basically wrong to calculate energy tax per litre (well, it is rather hard to measure gas or electricity in litres, anyway, isn’t it?).

At the same time, the EU discovered that petrol and Diesel are related and used for the same purpose. Consequently, what the EU now wants to do is put an equal tax rate on petrol and Diesel (which, incidentally, is something they should also do with kerosene for airplanes).

As a consequence of this, the price of Diesel per litre will probably increase by 28 cent by the year 2020, at least that is what both the EU and car industry predict. By the way, if kerosene were taxed in the same way, we would have totally different numbers to deal with!

And, of course, the lobbyists and politicians (Ramsauer categorically counted it out) immediately start protesting. They predict that a higher price for Diesel will mean a catastrophe. Among other things, they say, the production of cars with compression-ignition engine would suffer dramatically! What a terrible scenario!

They do not mention that then the Diesel car, as a reasonable alternative, might only need 2 to 3 instead of 5 to 10 litres and that then going by car would still (among other things) be less expensive, regardless of the higher price.

Only – as the SZ writes:

“But if you – justifiably – call for a change in energy policy, you must not afterwards lament about having to pay the price.”

And a change in energy policy is really necessary. After all, we cannot continue as we have been doing in the past.

Maybe we even have a chance with Diesel. Because today, Monday, theVan-Gaal catastrophe will feature broadly in the SZ. And reading it, everybody will quite quickly forget all about the Diesel. Until the next “catastrophe” will replace the Van-Gaal catastrophe (Van-Gaal-Katastrophe). And if the price for Diesel will climb from 3.00 Euros to 3.30 Euros in 2020, nobody will remember it for very long.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

P.S.
Another item on the front pages of the Saturday SZ was about how beautifully Russia destroys the environment – and that even the Russian government, who are usually extremely good at ignoring these kinds of things, are getting somewhat nervous.

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