During the Bush Administration, Congress created a new mandate under which oil companies were required to use a minimum amount of cellulosic ethanol, a scientific term for "payoff to Iowa Caucus-goers," in their annual fuel production.
Refiners had to blend 6.6 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol in 2011. Although precisely zero gallons of cellulosic ethanol were produced, the Environmental Protection Agency increased the quota to 8.65 million gallons. The idea was to create a domestic cellulosic ethanol industry, yet according to EPA data, no such fuel has been produced last year or this year.
Will this sad new get the oil companies off the hook?
The Environmental Protection Agency has slapped a $6.8 million penalty on oil refiners for not blending cellulosic ethanol into gasoline, jet fuel and other products…
"EPA's decision is arbitrary and capricious. We fail to understand how EPA can maintain a requirement to purchase a type of fuel that simply doesn't exist," said Charles Drevna, president of American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, the Washington-based association representing the oil-refining industry.
Good job, Congress and EPA. One way to promote environmental sustainability is to tax carbon — or put a cap on carbon emissions — and allow all clean fuel companies and technologies to compete on a more even playing field.
Option B, you could have the government chose politically-connected industries (ethanol!) and companies (Solyndra!), to be subsided at taxpayer expense, have them fail to develop a usable product and then fine manufacturers for failing to blend their fuel with the aforementioned rainbows and unicorn sweat. Glad we made the right choice!
Tags: Energy & Oil, Environment, EPA, Science & Technology, Solyndra
* President Obama sings "Call Me Maybe." (Spoiler alert: It's a little pitchy).
* Key & Peele meet President Obama and lose their sh*t.
* American Voices consider Herman Cain's new radio show.
* Comedian Jamie Kilstein wants to fight National Review's Jonah Goldberg.
* Coming up on your local news, will Funny or Die's coverage of gas prices kill you with laughter?
* Speaking of gas, David Crowe talks about his addiction to petroleum.
* A prospectus for Silicon Valley's next must-have IPO, from McSweeney's.
Tags: Barack Obama, Daily Links, Energy & Oil, Facebook, Funny or Die, Herman Cain, Key & Peele, National Review, Socialism, The Onion
Unlike the 105 years it will take before Venus is again observable between the Earth and Sun, we'll never go a single day without seeing the phenomenon of political hypocrisy.
Last Thursday, Mitt Romney held a "very special episode on government spending" press conference in front of Solyndra's closed headquarters, hoping to drive home his argument that government shouldn't be in the business of picking winners and losers in the private sector. That privilege belongs to venture capitalists, who also pick the players, the game, the rules, the winners and then charge you for parking.
But, lo and behold, Romney had his own little Solyndra back in Massachusetts…
A Lowell-based solar technology company that received $1.5 million in state loans when Mitt Romney was governor has filed for bankruptcy, opening the presumptive Republican presidential nominee to charges of hypocrisy.
Konarka Technologies disclosed Friday that it had filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection and would fire its 80-member staff and liquidate its assets.
The two companies are actually very similar. Both had promising business plans and raised millions of dollars in private investment as well as federal grants. They also began getting funding under the oil and coal lovin' Bush administration.
Great news, right? That means we can all agree that both Republicans and Democrats think solar energy is important enough to invest in and work together on, even if it means taking an occasional loss. Did you laugh out loud at that sentence? It was probably the funniest thing ever written.
Stay tuned for other astronomical events this week when Romney responds to the Konara story, and be sure not to look straight at the total eclipse of the truth.
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Tags: Barack Obama, Energy & Oil, Massachusetts, Mitt Romney, Solyndra