Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Untaxed Biodiesal

ia Daily Kos Diary, "...David Wetzel, a 79 yr old retired chemist from Decatur IL had been using recycled vegetable oil in his 1985 Volkswagen Golf diesel car for 7 years. This January, " the State of Illinois Dept. of Revenue sent 2 "special agents," Gary May and John Egan to his house. The two agents threatened the couple with felony charges and asked them to post a $2,500 bond!" According to the Herald & Review, where the full story is explained, a Republican State Senator has introduced a State bill "...which would curtail government interference regarding alternative fuels, such as vegetable oil..."I would agree that the bond is not acceptable, $2,500 bond," Watson said, adding that David Wetzel should be commended for his innovative efforts." (His car) gets 46 miles per gallon running on vegetable oil. We all should be thinking about doing without gasoline if we're trying to end foreign dependency.""

The money quote from the first H&R article is this:- "David Wetzel wonders why hybrid cars, which rely on electricity and gasoline, are not taxed for the portion of travel when they are running on electrical power." In a follow up story, H&R reported that:- "Dave Wetzel, who drove to the state Capitol from his Decatur home in his fryer waste-propelled 1986 Volkswagen, won the hearts of lawmakers as he told of his struggle with the "revenuers."" TreeHugger wishes Mr Wetzel and his legislative supporters well. Epiphanies about energy security and fairness notwithstanding, this story certainly reinforces decades worth of conspiracy stories about oil companies quashing competition by lobbying for unfair regulations. For the future, however, and along the lines of Mr Wetzel's musing about hybrids and tax fairness, we wonder if the Illinois State Dept. of Revenue would also tax the "coal to liquids" plant diesel fuel product that is being actively supported by some US Senators, should a CTL plant be built and operated in Illinois at taxpayer expense? Wouldn't such taxation be double taxing? Image credit: Mobile Magazine


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