Saturday, August 16, 2008

Don't Beat up Oil Companies over the Price of Fuel - Make Your Own Instead

I have to say every time I read a "letter to the editor" suggesting that the oil companies are profiteering at the expense of the common man it makes me furious.

Just once I wish the tabloid press would publish a front page frank and open article about where the profit in oil and gas production is going in this country. I should point out that when I say this country I mean the UK as that is where I find myself these days but don't panic I'll write on the US situation in the next article.

Lets take a quick look at taxation on oil production in the UK; the government here charges oil companies -

  • licensing (in the millions of dollars and time limited i.e. for "x" months) to explore for oil
  • Petroleum Revenue Tax (PRT a special tax just for this sector on 50% of profits)
  • Ring Fence Corporation Tax (RFCT a 30% tax)
  • Supplementary Charge on RFCT (an additional 10% tax added in 2002)
Then when the refined gas reaches the pump the UK Government charges -

  • 65p ($1.30) per litre fuel duty
  • 17.5% sales tax
So let me ask you this...who do you think is profiteering in the UK Oil business?

What can you do about it? For a start you can make your own fuel, at home for $1 a gallon. The UK government classes 2500 litres a year as tax free domestic production and in any case it would be all but impossible to police home production of fuel.

If you use petrol you can convert domestic and supermarket vegetable and fruit waste into alcohol with sugar yeast and brewing enzymes and distill it into ethanol.

I estimate from my own home production that the average person should have no problem in producing 60 litres of biodiesel and 10 litres of ethanol every week in less than 2 hours of direct effort for around a $1 a gallon - enough to save over $4000 a year in fuel costs!

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