Review rules and regulations to allow electric vehicles

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Ed Blume delivered the following statement at a hearing of the Department of Transportation hearing on where electric vehicles can travel, though he registered for information only without taking a position on the proposed regulation:

Statement by Ed Blume
on Peak Oil, Neighborhood Electric Vehicles, and DOT Rules
on behalf of the Madison Peak Oil Group
October 15, 2008

“When the production rate of oil reaches its geological limit and begins to decline, the world’s economies will be forced to live within a shrinking, not expanding, energy budget. The economic impact of peaking oil production is what concerns us, not the amount of oil yet to produce. We won’t “run out of oil” for another 100 years or more, but it will be produced at ever-declining rates.

This is an essential concept. Talking only about the number of barrels of oil that might exist somewhere, without also talking about the rate at which that oil can be produced, and when, entirely misses the target. -- Peak Oil Media Guide, Chris Nelder

The Madison Peak Oil Group and its members encourage the Department of Transportation to understand the inevitable world peak in oil production and its consequences for transportation in Wisconsin, including, but not limited to, a dramatic decrease in revenue, due to a decline in the total volume of purchases of motor fuels. In addition, we ask the Department to consider some of many, many implications:
• Less emphasis on road building;
• More emphasis on:
- Public transit; more routes and buses to serve more areas of our state and cities;
- Biking with more and wider bike paths; more bike racks;
- Walking;
- Electric vehicles, and rules that allow them to travel safely and freely and don’t discriminate them.
• Smaller and slower vehicles, with discounted licensing and encouragement of municipalities to allow “nose-in” parking in smaller spaces, similar to spaces reserved for motorcycles.

These are surely only a few implications. We encourage the Department to review its many programs, rules, and appropriations now in light of the coming decline in supply and resulting increase in cost of petroleum and all of its related products. We ask the Department to make the policy changes and recommend new statutes to transition to the post-peak-oil economy. Playing catch-up once the economy shifts will be much harder than anticipating and beginning the transition today.


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