Again, I ask thee: why do you trust your government?


Because, seriously, it appears that government regulators have no idea what they’re doing or talking about.

In 2011, the Environmental Protection Agency set a quota for a type of biofuel that does not exist outside of laboratories, and gasoline producers are racking up millions of dollars in fines for it. From the New York Times:

When the companies that supply motor fuel close the books on 2011, they will pay about $6.8 million in penalties to the Treasury because they failed to mix a special type of biofuel into their gasoline and diesel as required by law.

But there was none to be had. Outside a handful of laboratories and workshops, the ingredient, cellulosic biofuel, does not exist.

“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.

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.

You betcha, Charlie. It makes absolutely no sense. How can you add in something that does not exist? And then raise the quota for it? Let’s ask the spokesperson:

But Cathy Milbourn, an E.P.A. spokeswoman, said that her agency still believed that the 8.65-million-gallon quota for cellulosic ethanol for 2012 was “reasonably attainable.” By setting a quota, she added, “we avoid a situation where real cellulosic biofuel production exceeds the mandated volume,” which would weaken demand.

By what standards?

(Oh, and earlier in the story, it said that the quota was 500 million gallons for 2012, not 8.65 million—methinks someone either made a typo here, or its further evidence that the EPA is not educated on its own policies. Kind of like a Verizon salesman.)

Here we have a classic situation of well-meaning yet utterly inept and incompetent jokers establishing completely unreasonable standards and then imposing them on the country without even the faintest idea of what they’re doing or how it works. They develop plans and schemes that look good on paper, and work well on paper, but when it come to actual implementation in the real world, outside the DC office, they utterly fail because they wildly out of touch with reality. The problem is, none of these jokers get out of DC. They have no interaction with the wider country, no connection with the people and businesses who live out here. They live in a sensorium tank that processes anything that doesn’t match up with what they’re expecting as “false data.” And yet for some incalculable reason, we’re allowing them to run our lives?

I agree there are legitimate concerns about the environment and about energy independence, but neither of them justify a group of incompetent bumblers who might as well be playing World of RegulationCraft from administering the economy. It is government involvement that makes the situation worse. Those fines are going to drive up the cost of gasoline just as much as Iran’s threats over the Strait of Hormuz will. If you want solutions to problems, you have to let people who are directly dealing with these problems develop solutions on their own, and let a multitude of solutions emerge. Trying to impose “solutions” from a central body just gets you things like this: standards for nonexistent materials that can’t be met because, well, they’re nonexistent.

Again, I ask thee, and I ask thee to ask thy big government friends: why do you trust your government? Why do you want to give them more power, when they are clearly incompetent, clueless, and have about as much processing power in their brains as a teenager? Why do you want to give such power to a group of people that can’t even figure out that fining a company for not adding a mythical substance is illogical?


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