The editorial “Poor petropolitics” (May 25) was a good review of the total mismanagement of the oil economy by the UPA government. Of course, it has been guided by political expediency rather than economic considerations in managing the oil industry in the last few years.

Thomas J. Kunnath,

Changanasserry

The decision to hike the price of petrol is an unpopular, unpalatable one that is going to play havoc with the lives of the aam aadmi. What makes matters worse is the absence of a solution. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has to step forward. Automobile manufacturers must be forced to come up with dual engine technologies as a criterion before they start setting up manufacturing units in India.

R. Ramachandra Rao,

Hyderabad

The editorial says that cooking gas is “by no means a poor man's fuel.” Then what is poor man's fuel? Firewood, coal or kerosene? In a State like Kerala, where every inch of land is occupied by houses, where do we get firewood? Only 500 ml of kerosene a month is allotted for electrified homes. I haven't seen a piece of coal yet. Even sawdust is unavailable to the poor, as it is procured en masse by the poultry industry at huge prices. The editorial also suggests a less painful killing — opting for an incremental increase. Even if it is gradual, what difference does it makes to the budget of the common man? The editorial should have suggested alternatives. Can the tonnes of rotting foodgrain yield some kind of bio-fuel?

R. Lenin,

Aluva

The writing on the wall is clear. Unless viable and alternative sources of energy are found and put into use immediately, the country will grind to a halt soon. We must create awareness among all that fossil fuels are finite.

R. Sampath,

Chennai

U.S. President Barack Obama recently said that the growing demand for petroleum in India, China and Brazil would be the major reason for an increase in oil prices in the long term. Ironically, it is the U.S. that consumes more than a fifth of the world's oil, though it has only two per cent of the world's reserves. Further, at a rally in the city of Buffalo, Minnesota, when Mr. Obama argued in favour of the public transportation system adding that a mass transit system would be good for the environment, there too he had said that in the long-term, China and India's craze for automobiles would lead to a strain on petroleum sources.

In many countries, car pooling is must even for ministers to attend parliaments. The government must issue fuel austerity measures for all.

Madan Menon Thottasseri,

Chennai

“Poor petropolitics” is a mild heading. It should have been “diabolic, manipulative and clever.” The government does not have the courage to face Parliament on the issue.

Col. C.V. Venugopalan (retd.),

Palakkad

What sort of economic management is it where losses if any on subsidising kerosene, diesel, cooking gas and above all to increase revenue on the sly are made good by the unaffordable hikes on petrol only? LPG, petrol, diesel, ATF, kerosene, lube, tar, etc., are all products of fractional distillation and are separated based on the range of the boiling points of crude during the re

fining process. At least petrol, kerosene and diesel need to be priced almost at uniform rates if there were no competitive politics. Of these, kerosene — supposed to be used by the poor — seldom reaches the real user but ends up with the adulterator.

Raghubir Singh,

Pune

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Poor petropoliticsMay 25, 2012

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