The ‘diesel war’ waggery

Under pretence of a concern–clearly unsincere–for the somewhat harmful NOx emissions (nitric oxides), we’re now told in Spain that the European Union promotes a fight against fuel-oil that our Government will be seconding by — guess how? Yes: increasing the taxes and other hinders. A fight, though, whose main beneficiaries won’t be neither the atmosphere nor the citizens’ health, but the automobile industry and, of course, the Internal Revenue. Why? First, because fuel-oil being more polluting than petrol is anything except a definitely settled debate. Petrol egines emit more COx (responsible for greenhouse effect) and fuel-oil ones more NOx (potentially damaging health), but emissions from cars complying with the latest Euro 6 standard are quite similar for both oil derivatives. Hence, were health and environment the issue, Governments would rather take steps in order to renew the fleet and get rid of the dated, more NOx/COx emitting units out there, instead of overtaxing fuel-oil, a step equally impacing older and newer diesel cars, despite the latter being up to five times less polluting than the former and, ironically enough, also a lot less polluting than older petrol cars. Second, because by badgering with taxes and hindrances all diesel cars undiscriminatelly, then all their owners will be pushed to trade them for petrol or hybrid ones, which all throughout Europe means over one hundred million cars ready to be replaced, rather sooner than later, by less penalized vehicle types. This is a spectacular figure, too enticing for manufacturers to not place them under suspicion.
And funniest of all, it’s our present socialist government the most eager to apply a tax raise that–mind you–will impact more severely the less well-off, who–as statistics show–are the ones who bought diesel cars to economize. Wealthier people usually prefer petrol. Therefore our PSOE will be penalizing their own voters. All of which strongly suggests that the inflated tax isn’t meant for protecting our health, but for collecting revenue and favouring the automotive sector, the all-times winner.
Notwithstanding, instead of being told any of that, the Government–with the unvaluable help of the complying media–insists that it’ll be an environmental measure. And, for topping the bill, the last news is about an approaching “diesel war” that will be backed, or even led, by the automotive because they’re going to be the most affected by the new tax, poor them. But such a statement does not hold water, as I argument below.
On one hand, besides the hefty direct increase in filling up expenses that they’ll have to endure every time they refuel, diesel car owners are presently sustaining, because of the Government’s very announcement of the upcoming tariffs, a considerable loss in their assets, since their cars are now worth a couple thousand euros less than one month ago, given the fact that the saleable price drops (in favour of petrol-powered equivalents) proportional to fuel-oil’s higher cost; the more so the newer the vehicle, being less written off. As a matter of fact, in due justice, the Administration, by virtue of its legal patrimonial liability, ought to indemnify against such loss such owners; most of all taking into account the Government’s responsibility in the large amount of diesel-powered cars in Spain: we’ve been told for years that fuel-oil was eco-friendlier and that taxes would be accordingly lower. Now, this “asset loss” can be estimated as amounting above ten billion euros, considering our fleet size. To avert such injustice, it’d be necessary to grant the consumers a moratorium in the planned tax raise at least equal to the average depreciation period of a car, in order not only for existing units to pay off their mislead owners’ investment, but also for potential buyers to have all due-and-true information before purchasing a new car.
On the other hand, car manufacturers profit about the same by selling one or the other engine type, and potential customers won’t stop buying a car if fuel–and only fuel–goes up: they’ll simply go for the petrol/hybrid/electric version instead. Therefore, little to nothing is lost by manufacturers: they’ll just make (and sell) more of one version and less of the other. Not only they don’t lose, but because many diesel car owners will, as said, bring earlier the decision to trade their vehicles for less penalized ones, this’ll bring huge, plentiful profit to the sector.
So, to sum up, it turns out that those who now want to win our sympathy and support by staging a “diesel war” against the tax raise, are precisely those on whose behalf–and at our expense–the raise will be decreed. The waggery can’t be more insulting.

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