We're from the Government, We're here to help...
So, at a time when innovation should be encouraged as we try to reduce dependence on oil and gas and reduce green house gas emissions, we instead see a government going out of the way to punish people who try to do just that.
A 79-year-old man, David Wetzel, of Decatur Illinios tries save some money and help the environment by converting his 1986 VW Golf to run on vegetable oil and partly on diesel - bio-diesel in other words. He makes arrangements with a local business to take their waste oil off of their hands. He had a mutually beneficial arrangement that not only did not harm anyone, but was doing the right thing on the environmental front.
Of course the Illinois Department of Revenue had other plans.
"Wetzel uses recycled vegetable oil, which he picks up weekly from an organization that uses it for frying food at its dining facility.
"They told me I am required to have a license and am obligated to pay a motor fuel tax," David Wetzel recalled. "Mr. May also told me the tax would be retroactive.""
So egregious was his "crime" that the Department of Revenue sent 2 agents to his home to inform him and his wife of their malfeasance.
"Since the initial visit by the agents on Jan. 4, the Wetzels have been involved in a struggle with the Illinois Department of Revenue. The couple, who live on a fixed budget, have been asked to post a $2,500 bond and threatened with felony charges." [emphasis mine]
Now, I'm pretty sure a 1986 VW Golf isn't worth close $2500 itself, even in Illinois. And running a car on vegetable oil is hardly in the same league as murder, rape and child molestation.
But I suppose Exxon Mobile can't make money if everyone does that. And Archer Daniels Midlands (ADM) can't monopolize the bio-fuels market without government help, now can they?