Archive Article: 2001/11/16

16 November 2001

EU red diesel plan will fuel farmer headaches

Euro-MPs are at it again. Days after they tried to force legislation limiting farmers to a few hours tractor work a day, they want to cut sulphur levels in red diesel.

Reducing pollution is a commendable target. But not when it is based on inconclusive science and will lead to further financial and logistical headaches for farmers. Industry figures say it will put up the cost of red diesel by 10% and farmers may also have to invest in separate storage for heating fuel.

Most farm machinery is not designed to cope with this fuel and the pollution benefits are marginal at the low sulphur levels the MEPs want. Intensive lobbying saw off the barmy vibrations legislation. A similar effort is needed to stop this new madness.

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