Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Progress on Biofuels

Via Jerry Pournelle:

State makes big fuss over local couple's vegetable oil car fuel. The article describes a visit to David and Eileen Wetzel by "special agents" of the Illinois Department of Revenue. It's too bizarre to summarize, read the whole thing. After several attempts to find logic in the state's attempt to tax salvaged cooking oil as if it were diesel fuel, and to make the Wetzels register and pay taxes as special fuel supplier and receiver, failure being a Class 3 felony … I give up. More recently, from The Newspaper:

Last week, the Illinois state Senate Revenue Committee unanimously voted to amend state law to allow motorists to use restaurant byproducts for personal, non-commercial use. The full state Senate and House must approve the measure before it could become law.

I think this is the amendment. It would exempt "the conversion of cooking oil, used restaurant fryer oil, or any other similar oil into motor fuel for ones personal, noncommercial use." Narrow, but better than nothing, and in light of the extent of Commerce Clause abuse since Wickard v Filburn, perhaps as much as could be hoped for. Though as Dr. Pournelle points out, this is, for a mercy, at State rather than Federal level.

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