Get Your Foot Off the Gas - It's Black Gold

Last year the world used about 30 billion barrels of oil - the equivalent of draining Sydney Harbour 10 times - and consumption is growing as fast as the economies of China and India.

Published: 01-Apr-2005

What will cost $3 a litre, require car-pooling, the permanent military occupation of Iraq and oil drilling on the Great Barrier Reef? Petrol, according to experts who have been contemplating its future in an oil-poor Australia.

In Sydney, it might mean a real estate crash and a long recession.

These are some of the consequences, experts say, if Australia does not wean itself off a diminishing supply of fossil fuels.

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Visits to China, India, Malaysia and Pakistan are significant because the trip spells out the Saudi Kingdom's Look East policy, representing a new reorientation in its foreign policy that was heavily tilted toward the West.

The worst two scenarios suggest a drastic decline in output to 875,000 barrels a day by the end of 2007 and to just 520,000 a day by the end of 2008.

Bush said he envisioned a future in which a plug-in hybrid car could drive 40 miles on a lithium-ion battery, then stop at a filling station for ethanol, a fuel usually made from corn, similar to HyMotion Prius pictured below.

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