Are you compliant with the EPA unicorns-per-gallon requirement?

Gilt statue of a unicorn on the Council House,...

OK, technically they aren’t requiring unicorns in your fuel, but they might as well be.  This is exhibit A for this month in the case of why we need need limited government (exhibit B is the ridiculous 16 oz. drink requirement in NY, which would be exhibit A if it were a Federal requirement).  Via EPA fines oil refiners for failing to use nonexistent biofuel:

Question: Do you fill your car’s tank with gasoline that is part cellulosic ethanol, an environment-friendly distillate of wood chips, corn cobs, and switch grass? Let me answer for you: No, you don’t. You couldn’t if you wanted to. Petroleum products blended with cellulosic ethanol aren’t commercially available, because the technology for mass-producing cellulosic ethanol hasn’t been perfected. None of which has stopped the Environmental Protection Agency  from imposing hefty yearly fines on oil refiners. According to the The New York Times, in 2011 automotive fuel producers were assessed $6.8 million in penalties. That amount is expected to climb dramatically this year. Guess who ends up footing the bill for the difference?

This has got to be the ultimate example of government bureaucracy gone mad.

One of my frustrations with people who should know better is when they perpetuate the straw-man argument that conservatives don’t want any government at all (“Golly, then they shouldn’t drive on roads, call 911, etc.”).  We aren’t anarchists.  We just understand the law of unintended consequences, and we know that bad things happen if you let government have too much power over your lives.

8 thoughts on “Are you compliant with the EPA unicorns-per-gallon requirement?

  1. One of my frustrations with people who should know better is when they perpetuate the straw-man argument that conservatives don’t want any government at all (“Golly, then they shouldn’t drive on roads, call 911, etc.”)

    The so-called “Coffee Party,” (a short lived 2010 progressive response to the Tea Party) was founded entirely on this strawman. It’s mission statement began, “We don’t think government is the enemy….” as a direct response to the so-called anti-government rhetoric of the Tea Party. The Tea Party simply wanted government driven back inside its proper boundaries.

    Like you, I find this bit of sophistry to be beyond irritating. I love how our opponents can’t come up with anything coherent to say in response to our policy prescriptions, so they have to create (and then attack) strawmen instead…or simply make things up out of whole cloth (the Tea Party is “racist,” etc…)

    • Yeah, the racist thing was — and still is — so ridiculous. I hope Tea Party favorite Herman Cain does a lot of campaigning for Romney to highlight the stupidity and viciousness of that meme.

    • When they start with that gibberish, I usually say, “I’m sorry that you’re such an unsophisticated, black-and-white thinker who thinks that the only alternative to an overly intrusive, expensive government is anarchy. What’s it like to be so dense?”

      Okay, I’m not a nice person, but it gets the point across. It’s also fun, since they always say that we’re the ones not capable of understanding nuances and shades of grey.

      • Why would you be under any obligation to be “nice” to people who are willing to twist your words around…in order to make a reasonable position sound like a complete lunacy?

        What kind of jerk deploys strawmen in the first place? I’m all done with being “nice” to people who use logical fallacies in place of reasoning, especially online.

      • “The best defence is a good offence,” sayeth Papa de Luca. I frankly so no reason to need to defend the idea for a smaller government (one which does not spend $3.6 trillion per year).

  2. Neil,
    I’m glad you posted on this. I was planning on doing so, under the “you can’t make this up” department. Republicans/Conservatives should grab a hold of this and use it to beat back our Big Government extremists again and again. It’s utter foolishness to make a requirement that cannot be followed. They truly could have said “use unicorn poop” in your gasoline or face a fine.

  3. It is clear that you don’t understand the modern scientific method. When the government (especially the president) says that something is possible and practical, it automatically becomes so. Then the government gives lots of money to liberal professors who design experiments to make the desired thing look possible and practical. After that it is a simple matter of forcing the evil businesses to do what the government wants.
    It is the old straw into gold system. If you apply enough pressure they will go out and buy some gold and substitute it for the straw. Problem solved.
    It may leave a few problems for taxpayers and consumers, but they really don’t matter anyway.

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