Human Events Blog

EPA Fines Companies Because They Didn’t Use A Fuel That Doesn’t Exist

The Orwellian nightmare of running a business in the shadow of the Obama Administration is nicely captured in this story from the New York Times, which explains why motor fuel companies are about to be fined $6.8 million for failure to use a biofuel that does not exist:

In 2012, the oil companies expect to pay even higher penalties for failing to blend in the fuel, which is made from wood chips or the inedible parts of plants like corncobs. Refiners were required to blend 6.6 million gallons into gasoline and diesel in 2011 and face a quota of 8.65 million gallons this year.

“It belies logic,” Charles T. Drevna, the president of the National Petrochemicals and Refiners Association, said of the 2011 quota. And raising the quota for 2012 when there is no production makes even less sense, he said.

Penalizing the fuel suppliers demonstrates what happens when the federal government really, really wants something that technology is not ready to provide. In fact, while it may seem harsh that the Environmental Protection Agency is penalizing them for failing to do the impossible, the agency is being lenient by the standards of the law, the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act.

Ah, so that’s what passes for “lenience” from the bureaucrats and czars these days.  Be thankful for our generosity, comrades!  We could have fined you much more heavily for failing to do something that was literally impossible.  Clutch every dollar we allow you to keep, and weep with joy at our munificence!

This is all part of an elaborate ritual fuel companies are required to perform, in accordance with the official state religion of “global warming.”  These biofuels are supposed to reduce “greenhouse gas” emissions by 50 percent.  Actually, I suppose the biofuels that don’t actually exist are reducing such emissions by 100 percent.  Such is the wisdom of the almighty State.

This kind of nonsense is a regular feature of Stalinist command economics.  Stalin himself was a bold pioneer in politically decreeing the impossible.  He ordered that corn should be grown in Siberia, even though corn cannot grow in Siberia.  The results were far worse than a $6.8 million tithe to the Church of Global Warming, so the fuel companies should consider themselves lucky.

How could anyone possibly defend this tyrannical lunacy?  Like this:

[Dennis V. McGinn] of the council on renewable energy defends the overall energy statute. Even if the standards for 2011 and 2012 are not met, he said, “I am absolutely convinced from a national security perspective and an economic perspective that the renewable fuel standard, writ large, is the right thing to do.” With oil insecurity and climate change related to greenhouse gas emissions as worrisome as ever, advocates say, there is strong reason to press forward.

Never mind that no one can prove any such “climate change” is occurring, let alone that it has any relationship to “greenhouse gas emissions.”  The commissars have spoken, and they are not to be questioned.  If it makes no sense to you… well, perhaps your sanity needs to be questioned, eh?

Remember, Big Government is much smarter than private industry, and far better equipped to handle the ever-changing challenges of a fast-moving, high tech world.  That’s why it raised the annual quotas for using a fuel that does not exist.

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