This mornings walk to the bus stop was refreshing; it was a clear and crisp day. When it starts to snow however, and the temperature drops below freezing, I will be forced to drive my car to the university. A fifteen minute walk carrying textbooks and a laptop are just not practical for winter weather in Prince George. Like many people, I am not in a position to save money by taking the transit all year around. Instead I am forced to pay outrageous gas prices to get to class each day.
Where is the competition for our fuel prices? Right now the fuel industry is its own rivalry, with consumers finding the best rates between Petro-Canada and Superstore, etc. When the competition ceases we get stuck for periods of time paying the highest prices we have seen yet, and they are just continuing to increase.
What we need is an alternative market of fuel to put pressure on the fuel industry. Recently Oilgae.com released a report on extracting oil from algae in order to make biodiesel; a clean-burning and biodegradable fuel. Biodiesel is a renewable source since it comes from organic material like algae or vegetables, and it does not produce excess CO2 into the atmosphere.
Creating biodiesel is not complicated. I have personally performed labs covering the same processes in my years as a chemistry major at UNBC. The knowledge is readily available, but there is a lack of support from the community to look into biodiesel further. As Evelyn Rebman pointed out in her letter to the editor called Fed up with gas prices, we seem [content] to be a bunch of wimps and complainers.
With a respected research university at our doorstep its time our community stood up to the politics surrounding gasoline and supported research on alternative fuel.