Jordan seeks to combat rising fuel costs

Nov. 1, 2012 at 6:46 AM
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AMMAN, Jordan, Nov. 1 (UPI) -- The Jordanian government is considering travel restrictions and blackouts to combat fuel consumption and rising fuel costs, officials said.

Restrictions under consideration include limiting vehicles on the road and power cuts. Another option being discussed is alternative driving days, government sources told The Jordan Times.

"One of this government's top priorities is reducing the national fuel bill and reducing fuel consumption and we are placing every option on the table," Minister of State for Media Affairs and Communications Samih Maaytah told the newspaper.

Officials in the Ministry of Finance proposed encouraging carpools to reduce the number of vehicles on the road, the Times said.

"After several studies it was decided that this is cost-effective, painless way to cut back on fuel consumption right away," a government source told the newspaper.

The government is also considering reducing the use of electricity, reducing the number of streetlights by half on major routes and blacking out roads where traffic is minimal in the evening. Electricity cutbacks would also be extended to the public, officials said, and if left with no choice the government may consider proposing regional blackouts.

"We cannot talk about solutions to the energy crisis without talking about reducing consumption," Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Alaa Batayneh told the Times in a recent interview.

"If we focus on energy and fuel conservation, we can save up to 20 percent of what we are currently spending," he said.

The desire to cut back on fuel consumption comes amid rising international oil prices and disruptions in Egypt's gas supplies which until recently served as Jordan's main energy source, the paper said.

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