Malacananang backs sale of dirty, cheap diesel: Bad for environment but fighting inflation priority
Malacanang is backing the plan of Energy Secretary Al Cusi to bring in dirty but cheap diesel two years after banning it under the Clean Air Act.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the government has started importation of dirty oil as part of the alternatives endorsed by government economic managers to tame inflation which has jumped to a nine-year high.
“Iyong pagtaas po ng presyo ng langis, hindi po natin kontrolado iyan. Pero gumawa na po tayo ng hakbang, sinabi na natin na mag-aangkat tayo ng mas murang diesel at nag-import na po tayo. Hindi lang tayo maka-import ng ganoon karami, kasi wala tayong storage facilities para riyan,” said Roque in a briefing.
Roque said the biggest issue was whether oil companies would be allowed to sell dirty diesel as proposed in Cusi’s order: ““For the purpose of reducing the impact of rising petroleum prices in the world market, all industry players are hereby directed to provide at the retail level Euro-II compliant automotive diesel oil as a fuel option for the transport and industrial customers.”
Roque said that if oil prices would continue to surge, government would be left with no choice but to turn to dirty diesel even if it meant harming the environment.
“Panandalian lang naman po iyan. Dahil alam naman natin na kinakailangan pangalagaan talaga ang ating kalikasan. Pero iyan po ang pinakaimportanteng solusyon na naisip ng gobyerno bukod pa doon sa pag-aangkat na nga ng pagkain. Dahil alam natin na kapag tumaas ang presyo ng krudo at langis, tataas talaga lalo na ang presyo ng pagkain,” he said.
The Department of Transportation has opposed Cusi’s proposal to allow the sale of Euro2 diesel whcih was banned under the Clean Air Act lwhich mandated the Euro 4 fuel to passenger and commercial vehicles as the minimum grade of fuel.