JIS News

Minister of Energy, Mining, and Telecommunications, Clive Mullings has called for full utilization of the policy that will govern fuel consumption in order for Jamaica to effectively deal with the impact associated with global oil price increases.
Speaking at the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica’s (PCJ) public sector energy efficiency seminar at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston on Tuesday (March 18), Mr. Mullings noted the tendency for “knee jerk” reactions by energy sector stakeholders to movements in the fuel prices.
“For too long in this country, when (the price of) oil goes down, we forget about it. And then, there’s a knee jerk reaction, when oil goes to where it has reached now”, Mr. Mullings said.
He lamented the less than desirable response, in some instances, to the recently staged community consultations to discuss the proposed energy policy.
“When you would go to the consultations, you are met with a few hundred people, if you are lucky, because we are lazy (and) not inclined to attend these things (consultations) when other people do it. We (tend to) sit on our verandahs and become experts and critics, and do nothing until we have a sense of crisis (arising),” he noted.
Mr. Mullings said that while some work was being undertaken to better prepare the country to deal with what obtains, there was need for more to be done. While noting the challenges faced in retaining a targetted 4.5 per cent fiscal deficit, he pointed out that the Government would be forging ahead with plans to effectively counter these.
“We have an ethanol refinery, and we are going to (fully) own that refinery in May, 100 per cent. We are going to have, this year, the E10 blend of ethanol (10 per cent ethanol: 90 per cent petrol). Because what we need is energy security, not just a response to spikes in pricing. When you have energy security, then you are able to control your pricing,” the Minister informed.
Additionally, Mr. Mullings stressed the need to review and audit the operational efficiency of the major public sector entities which utilize energy, as well as intensify the thrust towards renewable energy alternatives.
“I am here to tell you that we (government) are going to forge ahead with plans (to counter the energy crisis). It is important for us as a government, to do that (plan),” he advised.
In expressing optimism that the price of oil would decrease in the short order, Mr. Mullings said the energy policy, when legislated, needed to be fully utilized, reiterating renewable energy as the viable option for Jamaica’s high energy costs.
The (energy) policy won’t help you if it remains on the page. The legislation won’t help you if you don’t utilize it. Our end gain must be and is renewables. So whether you want to debate gas, whether you want to debate coal, I can tell you that the end gain is going to be renewables,” Mr. Mullings asserted.

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