More government arrogance
Arrogant government bureaucrats are pestering working Americans again — or still, if you prefer. President Obama’s EPA has slapped a $6.8 million penalty on oil refiners for not blending any cellulosic ethanol into gasoline, jet fuel and other petroleum products.
EPA’s mandate to punish evil petroleum came from the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act that was passed by a bipartisan vote in a Democratic-controlled Congress and signed by a Republican president. This was the infamous piece of legislative nonsense that outlawed the incandescent light bulb after 2014, but it also required refiners to blend 6.6 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol in 2011.
Now government arrogance comes forth. There is no cellulosic ethanol to blend in fuel. In fact, there isn’t enough to run a decent illegal still.
George Bush first brought up this piece of nonsense in his 2006 State of the Union address: “Our goal is to make this new kind of ethanol practical and competitive within six years.” To this end, Mr. Bush poured in the subsidies. Mr. Obama then, as has been his practice, doubled down on Republican stupidity, and between the two energy dreamers they poured in some $1.5 billion in subsidies.
The result is predictable. The National Academy of Sciences, according to columnist Deroy Murdock, announced last year that “currently, no commercially viable bio-refineries exist for converting cellulosic biomass to fuel.”
EPA took note of the National Academy finding, ignored it and promptly raised the quota this year from 6.6 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol to 8.65 million gallons. The petroleum industry sought waivers but, unlike Obamacare from which almost everyone has been granted a waiver, EPA felt the will of Congress was sacrosanct in this one arena and demanded the industry pay up.
The Wall Street Journal summed it all up nicely: “Congress subsidized a product that didn’t exist, mandated its purchase though it still didn’t exist, is punishing oil companies for not buying the product that doesn’t exist, and is now doubling down on the subsidies in the hope it someday it might exist.”
While the government is hammering the petroleum industry with unobtainable mandates, local officials around the country are being decidedly intolerant in the fight for tolerance. The latest example came when Dan Cathy, founder of Chick-fil-A, allowed as how he believed in the traditional definition of marriage. Liberal mayors and councilmen in Boston and Chicago immediately charged forth in high dudgeon to defend the liberal orthodoxy on marriage.
Boston Mayor Tom Menino expressed his indignation in a letter to the company: “I was angry to learn on the heels of your prejudiced statements about your search for a site to locate in Boston,” Menino wrote. “There is no place for discrimination on Boston’s Freedom Trail and no place for your company alongside it. I urge you to back out of your plans to locate in Boston.”
Chick-fil-A has not been accused of discriminating against customers or in their hiring practices. The only problem is that the founder’s view on marriage was unacceptable to a public official even though it was the same view our president held until recently.
The mayor is rather inconsistent in his concerns for the feelings of homosexuals. Sometime ago the city sold land to an Islamic house of worship at well below market rates. The mayor attended the dedication ceremony and listened appreciatively to one of the mosque’s spiritual guides, one Yusef al-Qaradawi.
As is to be expected, talk-show host, Michael Graham found the hypocrisy. He reported that Mr. al-Qaradawi had told Al-Jazeera, “A homosexual should be given the same punishment as any sexual pervert. Some say we should throw them for a high place, like God did with the people of Sodom. Some say we should burn them.” Give Mr. Qaradawi this, he’s open-minded. Why limit your followers to just one method of killing gays when several are available.
As Graham wrote, “Chick-fil-A wants to come to Boston to pay taxes and put people to work. Menino says ‘no’ because the CEO thinks same-sex marriage is wrong. But the same mayor was all but giving away city land to the Islamic Society of Boston, even as they were presenting as one of their spiritual guides an imam who says homosexuals should be killed.”
“And this makes sense…how?”
The same game is being played out in Chicago. Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Councilman Moreno wanted to deny Chick-fil-A a license because the views of its founder did not coincide with “Chicago values.” Aside from the question of just what are Chicago values — other than crippling debt, invidious corruption, skyrocketing murder rates and failing schools — who the hell is Emanuel or Moreno to enforce their political and social orthodoxy on people who want to do business in Chicago?
We babble a lot about freedom in this country but we sit mute while political bums increasingly seek to enforce their narrow views — all in the name of diversity, of course. But, if you happen to be one of their pets right now, it seems OK. But watch out. Menino, Manuel and Moreno threaten to grill Chick-fil-A on the fire of gay rights, but they are conveniently blind to Islamic homophobia. That meets their political needs at the moment. But political needs and calculations change.
As Mark Steyn wrote, “Already in Europe, in previously gay-friendly cities like Amsterdam, demographically surging Muslim populations have muted Leftie politicians’ commitments to gay rights, feminism and much else.”
We need mayors in the mold of New York’s Fiorella LaGuardia, who once said of folks like Menino, Manuel and Moreno, “I can run on a laundry ticket and beat those political bums anytime.”