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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  • Fred, Wa State

    I think I get it.

    A fine for not using a product that doesn’t exist, to fix a problem that doesn’t exist, imposed by an agency which shouldn’t exist.

  • michaellyster

    Fluctuations have been occurring for hundreds of millions of years: glaciers in the Midwest, and coal under PA are evidence. Conservatives, by and large are rather well versed in science as a group. Try some other blanket dismissal: this one won’t work.

    Your dismissal of ‘climate change’ politics as religious ignorance reflects your shallow intellectual insight.  If conservatives are so ignorant: how come we’re disproportionately rich, while liberals are disproportionately represented by stupid people?  Just asking.

  • michaellyster

    No; he’s just using it to push his economically malicious agenda. The man’s not creative enough to actually ‘create’ anything.

  • michaellyster

    In other news, the Administration announced new regulations mandating a minimum of 18% pixie dust and 6% unicorn droppings in all auto fuel, which according to DNC spokesmen and David Axelrod, would “…increase gas mileage by 193%, and cure cancer.”   Senate Majority Reid plans to pass a 100% punitive tax on oil and coal companies that fail to meet the new standard by next Thursday.

    Mr Obama’s spokesman also announced that conservative opposition to the new ruling reflected “extreme right wing hatred of the climate and their resistance to progress and science.”

  • jagscl

    Oil “insecurity” is a direct result of Government in the past and dramatically so under Obama.  It allowed fanatics in governmet to join with radical evironmental groups to release regulations that increased costs or closed down operations all together.  Off shore drilling–stopped; drilling on Federal land–stopped; new refineries -stopped by onerous regulations imposing costs or requirements no business can endure and complete or outright banning.  Obama wants oil insecurity and “renewable” sources totally impractical in a country whose life blood is oil.  Solar panels, bio-fuels (some even nonexistant) are totally incapable of meeting energy demands in this country.

    How long before we shut these disasterous agencies down and return power to the states where it belongs?  We also need to force the US to return all Federal lands not currently estsblished as Parks or Forest to the States.  Get the Federal Government out of land ownership and land control.

  • Paul Fauber

    Fascinating.  So, to avoid penalties for failing to use a nonexistent product, all one can really do is to become one with the product and cease to exist.  Is that idea Zen?

    We must cease to be an Obama Nation sooner rather than later!

  • wagnert

    Ooh, very well put.  I will be stealing this.

  • confedgal

    I keep hoping I will wake up from this dream, but then I realize that my dreams are much more sane than this.

  • wagnert

    “[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.”

    You know what’s frightening?  According to the NYT story, [Dennis V. McGinn] is a retired rear admiral in the US Navy.  That’s the second highest Navy rank — and he believes crap like this.  One wonders how many active-duty high-level officers have this charming faith in unicorns.

    PS.  Instead of cellulosic ethanol, why doesn’t the EPA just mandate adding water to gasoline?  Think of it — two atoms of hydrogen — hydrogen fuel, very trendy just now, plus an atom of oxygen, to clean up the air. Win-win!

  • wagnert

    Crap.  He’s a vice admiral (I think — I can’t get to the NYT article a second time.)  Vice admiral is the second highest Navy rank.

  • DaneChile

    yeah but, once again, a troll succeeded in diverting the thread from the focus of the article.  Stop feeding them!!

  • CaptainH

    Just another $6.8 million that the government does not deserve. What better way to generate reliable revenue than to demand something that cannot be delivered.

    It’s like being a chemistry teacher and when asked by your boss at the annual interview “How is you jet pilot’s license coming?” Hunh? “You may not have been told but your job description was changed during the year.”

  • Julie

    The product is probably to expensive to make and deliver without a government subsidy. After Solyndra the politics would be a black eye for Obama. It is probably far cheaper to pay the fines and pass the added cost on to us.

  • Stratosaurus

    Fining companies for not using fuel additives which do not exist.  Makes perfect sense, if you’re a libloon.  More proof that the entire government is controlled by the Department of Redundancy Department, and regulations will be enforced by the Natural Guard.

    Next on the agenda?  Heavy fines against automobile manufacturers for failure to construct their cars using unobtainium to save weight.  After that, fines against the clothing industry for failure to use biodegradable cloth. 

    When does the insanity stop?

  • Concerned4America

    What is this non-existent product? Methanol? Why doesn’t it exist? Is it just not profitable to make? Is it impossible to make commercially?

    Little details like that would make the article more meaningful.

  • DaneChile

    Just out of curiosity:  what happens to the money paid in response to EPA fines?  Does it go into the general fund or does it get lost in the bowels of EPA?  What is the total of all fines levied by EPA during 2011?  I wonder if there is any reliable source for this information.

  • So

    Inevitably this ‘fine’ is being passed on to the consumer (me). So if I’m paying a penalty for not using something that doesn’t exist, conversely, wouldn’t it make sense that I be rewarded for using something that does exist….like uncut gasoline?

    Now to compound the problem, a Republic (such as the US) is a form of government in which the people, or some significant portion of them have supreme control over the government. So, based on the definition of a Republic, I (along with a significant portion of other citizens) have decided to penalize myself for not using something that doesn’t exist, all the while refusing to reward myself for using something that does exist.

    What I still haven’t been able to wrap my head around is exactly when I conned myself into thinking I was better off robbing myself rather than rewarding myself. Maybe it will come to me as I’m standing in line on voting day.

  • Zexufang

    But… but… but… Obama just made a speech wherein he praises the EPA and its regulations  for creating “jobs”. 

  • michaellyster

    And your mother created a turnstile at her front door, so the coal miners wouldn’t have to wait so long. So shut up.

  • SoSueMi

    It’s all about more $$ for the government. This is an alternative to a tax. I’m sure Holder is proud of the money he disgorged from private industry….he darn sure didn’t do his job otherwise. I’ve an idea though…instead of the money being plowed back into government agencies, which is apparently another “off the books” method of funding the federal government thus making it even more difficult to determine how is actually spent on government, why don’t we use every cent collected in “fines” to pay down the debt. Putting it back into the government only makes the government bigger….

  • SoSueMi

    Is there such a thing as “extreme left wing” views on anything? I never seem to hear about those viewpoints…..