Fines And Felony Charges For Letting Your Car Run On Restaurant Vegetable Oil?

from the not-such-a-good-thing dept

There have been numerous stories recently about people converting their cars to run on leftover vegetable oil from restaurant kitchens. Many restaurants need to get rid of that oil anyway, and are more than happy to give it away for nothing or next to nothing (though, obviously that would change as demand grows). While this seems like a great example of one way that people can help take a step away from the oil addiction the government is apparently afraid of, it seems that (oops) the government isn't going to make it very easy for people.

Yehuda Berlinger points us to the bureaucratic insanity faced by a retired couple in Illinois who simply want to drive their vegetable oil-fueled car, but now face huge fines and possible felony charges for doing so. The details sound like they're right out of a bad movie. They've owned the car for while and they fuel it up using leftover restaurant cooking oil. However, earlier this year, two officials knocked on their door from the Illinois Department of Revenue, telling the couple that they were violating the law by not paying an additional motor fuel tax. The couple did the calculations on how much tax they needed to pay, and while annoying, it wasn't outrageous. However, in order to pay, they first needed to get approved for a license as a "special fuel supplier" or "receiver." Except... the process to become approved for such a license requires a $2,500 bond, and the forms are designed for businesses not individuals. The couple then received a letter saying they needed to stop being a special fuel supplier or receiver until they were licensed to be such -- but the details of how you qualify to be either a special fuel receive or supplier showed that they qualified as neither. Yet, the state still insisted that they had to get such a license, because otherwise they had no way to collect the tax. They then noted that operating as a special fuel supplier or receiver without the necessary license was a felony.

The government says that it's trying to make the process easier, but the whole concept seems ridiculous. As the guy notes, based on these arguments, shouldn't Toyota Prius drivers also have to pay a special motor fuel tax for the times when it's driving using electricity rather than fuel? After all, what's the real difference between powering the car with electricity generated by the vehicle compared to powering it with leftover vegetable oil? As for the government making the process easier, it's not like this is an entirely new concept. Over in Wales there was nearly an identical situation about five years ago that actually resulted in police impounding the vegetable oil-powered cars. It's difficult to see how you move people away from an addiction to oil when you make it impossible to actually stop using oil cost effectively.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    John Duncan Yoyo, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 7:29am

    Does this mean they are going to tax all cooking oil as fuel?

     

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  2.  
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    mastmaker, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 7:39am

    Aha....Oil companies DON'T need to conspire to keep alternative fuels off the road. Quixotic governments will do it for them. Wish they would do that in MY line of business!

     

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  3.  
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    The infamous Joe, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 7:48am

    If this is true, then...

    Maybe the government *did* quietly kill the engine that runs 100mpg on unleaded fuel.

    I think it's high time for a revolution. Our government is getting out of hand.

     

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  4.  
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    CoJeff, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 8:02am

    Whoa

    This is incredible. Another reason why I moved from that state. Fining people for using vegetable oil, now thats rich.

     

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  5.  
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    Sanguine Dream, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 8:20am

    ???


    However, earlier this year, two officials knocked on their door from the Illinois Department of Revenue, telling the couple that they were violating the law by not paying an additional motor fuel tax. The couple did the calculations on how much tax they needed to pay, and while annoying, it wasn't outrageous. However, in order to pay, they first needed to get approved for a license as a "special fuel supplier" or "receiver." Except... the process to become approved for such a license requires a $2,500 bond, and the forms are designed for businesses not individuals. The couple then received a letter saying they needed to stop being a special fuel supplier or receiver until they were licensed to be such -- but the details of how you qualify to be either a special fuel receive or supplier showed that they qualified as neither. Yet, the state still insisted that they had to get such a license, because otherwise they had no way to collect the tax. They then noted that operating as a special fuel supplier or receiver without the necessary license was a felony.


    What? After reading that several times the best I can get from it is that they are required to pay a tax but they are not qualified to register for the license that is a prerequisite for paying the tax?

    If using alternate fuel sources is going to cost just as much money (but even more effort) then what motivation is there to use them? It's less headache to just keep using that gas drinking SUV with its 15mpg engine.

     

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  6.  
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    toby, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 8:22am

    beauty

    The beautiful thing is that the state sent two revenue officers and spent an unspecified amount of time to pursue this for what equates to about $400 in taxes that they would collected for fuel from a conventional source.

     

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  7.  
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    Enrico Suarve, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 8:24am

    Genius

    I cease to be amazed by what the pointless beureacrat can achieve when he fails to put his mind to it

    All this to collect the equivilant of $4.07 / month?

    Surely someone involved must have hit the point where they said "hang on this makes no sense - stop!". Instead they have insisted they pay over the $2500 bond and register as a supplier when it is clear from theior own forms that they don't qualify to do so

    Pure genius

     

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  8.  
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    Evil_Bastard, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 8:29am

    Typical government BS.
    The STATE = THIEVES in this case.

     

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  9.  
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    Kaj Samsom, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 8:30am

    yup

    Almost identical issues in Vermont, although I think they are happy to look the other way. They have no mechanism to collect state diesel tax from non business, non fuel dealers. I volunteered to pay the tax and was told to become a fuel distributor (post a bond, get the license). Then you are required to file monthly reports. The Government should admit they have no way to collect the tax from you and waive it until they develop a mechanism for an ordinary consumer to pay tax. Instead, states would rather force a square block (citizen veg. oil driver) into a round hole (licensed fuel distributors license). I ended up wending the State a check with a letter and a computation for the amount due based on "projected" use (don't incriminate yourself) of untaxed fuel (veggie oil). They sent the check back without explanation. I keep that envelope and postmark handy if ever my willingness to pay my share is questioned!

     

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  10.  
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    Scott, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 8:33am

    Ummm...

    Remember, Remember, the 5th of November.

     

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  11.  
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    BigMatt, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 8:34am

    I agree

    with the guy that said we're do for a revolution... It say's in the consitution that we are not to be led by these kind of wackjobs doesn't it??

     

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  12.  
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    Jim, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 8:35am

    Cars on Vegtable Oil?

    The assumptions we make here are not uncommon; that is, that "Government" is this incredibly efficient, single entity. It's not! As with many business entities, different areas of a government work at cross purposes. The folks on the revenue side of the government have their performance judged on how much revenue they raise. While it may be stupid and short-sighted, that's reality.

     

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  13.  
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    James, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 8:36am

    Other tax ideas

    Using this concept I should have to pay tax and get special registration to ride my Bicycle. After all, I am using an alternate fuel, my bodies energy. While their at it, maybe I need to get a license to put the alternative fuel into my body. From now on, no one is allowed to eat until they get one of these licenses! Oh, sorry 95% of America, you can't get the license because your not a corporation...

     

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  14.  
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    Mystified Mystic, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 8:37am

    When will we get a tax rebate on ...

    Gasoline purchased for ... lawnmowers, generators, snow blowers, power saws, and other gasoline powered things that do not use the highways?

     

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  15.  
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    JustMe, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 8:37am

    There is research in progress to get cars to run on just air. No pollution, no greenhouse issues, no problem...except how do you tax the use of the air we breath?

     

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  16.  
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    Mystified Mystic, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 8:37am

    When will we get a tax rebate on ...

    Gasoline purchased for ... lawnmowers, generators, snow blowers, power saws, and other gasoline powered things that do not use the highways?

     

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  17.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 8:38am

    Felony Charges

    Doesn't that mean that it’s a federal offence?

     

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  18.  
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    Overcast, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 8:47am

    From that standpoint, maybe the government needs to take gravity into consideration too and tax us for the 'free power' our cars get from rolling down hills.

    That's just insane.

    And what about walking, or pushing your car? If I push my car a foot or two, must I pay a tax for that?

    Sounds like it's time to dump all the cars into the Boston Harbor~~

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 9:09am

    There's a ray of hope in this story...

    From the article:

    "State Sen. Frank Watson, R-Greenville, introduced Senate Bill 267, which would curtail government interference regarding alternative fuels, such as vegetable oil. A public hearing on the bill will be at 1 p.m. today in Room 400 of the state Capitol.

     

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  20.  
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    P Buchanin, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 9:15am

    hydro

    who cares? we'll all be driving high performance hydrogen vehicles in 10 years!

     

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  21.  
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    uncle jeb, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 9:16am

    hideho

    "I think it's high time for a revolution. Our government is getting out of hand."

    I agree

     

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  22.  
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    Charles Boyle, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 9:19am

    Veggie fuled autos!

    "It's A MAD,MAD,MAD,MAD WORld"

    Charles Boyle

     

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  23.  
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    Casper, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 9:20am

    Wow, go Gov

    This is the most idiotic thing I have heard in a while. Running vegetable oil is not appealing to me at all (it just doesn't make sense), but that does not mean people should have to pay a tax to burn waste as fuel. If anything, the people willing to burn that junk in their cars should be given a tax break for disposing of waste (although it does increase pollution to an extent depending on how you look at it).

    Does that mean all cars that use E85 have you pay a partial tax on the part that is ethanol if they mix it themselves? Wouldn't that mean that you pay a tax on the gasoline, a tax on the ethanol, and $2500 just to pay the tax on the ethanol?

     

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  24.  
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    Sanguine Dream, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 9:32am

    Re:

    The way this government operates I honestly think they would try to come up with some way to do so. The plan may not stick but someone would think of it.

     

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  25.  
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    Al D, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 9:33am

    What about other alternative fuels?

    It would seem that all alternative fuel would need to be taxed as fuel, extrapolating from this article. Electricity, LP, CNG, Hydrogen the list goes on and on.

     

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  26.  
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    KC, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 9:33am

    That's insane. It leads me to believe that you can get taxed for "being a special fuel supplier or receiver" if you grew your own corn to power your own car.

     

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  27.  
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    Adam, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 9:41am

    The United St... er Corporations of America want you to use more gasoline because it's good for them....

    A.

     

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  28.  
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    dave corke, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 9:41am

    veggie oil cars

    I think it is quite obvious that binladen and his buddies are not our true enemies.We need to watch the political illusionists with our flag in one hand and their other hand in our wallets or worst places.

     

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  29.  
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    adam, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 9:43am

    watch out

    ^^^ i agree too, but dont let the ATT/NSA/vzon/nationaltelco/cia spooks hear you type that on their networks... you'll have men in black suits at your door.

     

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  30.  
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    BikeBoyMd, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 9:44am

    I would tell those guys knocking on my door to prove that I owe anything and then show them my NRA membership card. YOU CANT FIX STUPID!

     

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  31.  
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    adam, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 9:44am

    my last post

    was in reference to the calls for revolution... though i do also agree with the comment about watching politicians as well!

    /clarify!

     

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  32.  
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    Tin Ear, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 9:46am

    Money from fines, money from taxes.

    The root issue here is the road tax. How will the Highway Department make the money needed to maintain the highways. The number one source of highway revenue is the gasoline tax. Diesel fuel is taxed as well, but only the fuel used in 'over the road' rigs. You can buy untaxed diesel for use in your grain combines and farm equipment, and you better not get caught using it in your highway truck!

    The problem is that, with biodiesel, there is no tax base to calculate a tax on it's use nor is there any way to determine how many road miles it is used with. With some of the new 'untaxed' alternative fuels on the road, I can see a day coming that you are going to be required to place a 'tax-tracker' in your vehicle that will track the actual miles you drive on the roads and highways. The government will charge you a tax per mile and send you a bill to collect. (Get caught without your tracker on your car = fines, jail, worse) That way they can prove that you drove X amount of miles (regardless of fuel source) and owe X amount for using the roads and highways.

    Of course, this will take billions in tax dollars to implement, but that is what the government does best. Spend our tax dollars and find ways to take more tax dollars from us.

     

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  33.  
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    SPR, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 9:48am

    Alternative Fuels

    Apparently the Illinois Department of Revenue is a subsidiary of Exxon/Mobil.

     

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  34.  
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    Dave, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 9:51am

    Bizarre

    First, to all the genetically deficient folks, Bush Jr. did not make a call from the white house instructing the IDR to harass an elderly couple for running on cooking oil. This does not represent grounds for a revolution. When you spout idiotic things like that, you diminish your ability to effectively complain about legitimate problems with your government.

    Second, I live in IL, and the IDR is normally pretty helpful and straightforward. The problem is we're talking about something new. In all likelihood, some neighbor, pissed about the 50 gallon drums of waste in the garage next door, called someone to make trouble. Now the IDR doesn't know what to do about the whole thing. They've never had to license someone to handle waste-as-a-fuel... so they don't have the appropriate forms for that, but they've already made a determination. They're kinda like umpires, you never back down from a decision you've already made.

    Also, the problem with dealing with any bureaucracy, is that arguing with some phone jockey at the IDR about forms that don't make sense is like arguing with the McDonalds drive-up woman that your watch says they're still serving breakfast. They don't understand, nor do they really care that you think you're a special circumstance. That lady on the phone just wants to point you in the right direction, and go home at the end of the day, just like anyone else.

     

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  35.  
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    charlie potatoes, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 9:52am

    the tax man

    "if you try to drive i'll tax the street..try to walk, i'll tax your feet. try to sit, i'll tax your seat...yeah i'm the taxman....George Harrison

     

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  36.  
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    Bob, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 9:52am

    Don't forget about the Sun

    Time to start taxing for sunlight. It seems our government owns the rights to that too. Short sighted, overpaid, syndicate connected, selfish jerks.

     

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  37.  
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    I'm being opressed!, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 9:56am

    Wind

    So, by my calculations, we should all be taxed by our respective governments for all types of energy source we use, no matter if it is the first (gas), second (veggie oil), or millionth (wind) time it is used. I like the taxman's argument, didn't the restaurant owners already pay tax on that oil anyway??

     

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  38.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 10:08am

    I'm down for a revolution... especially since I bet all of these posts get read by the government, and every thing else for that matter is under constant surveillance. I never feel alone when I'm spending time with rosy palmer anymore.

     

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  39.  
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    Duodave, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 10:22am

    This reminds me of...

    This reminds me of the 3 percent telecommunications excise tax, enacted in 1898 to pay for the Spanish-American War. For years after the war was paid for, phone companies continued to charge the tax until it was repealed last year. Gas taxes are purported to compensate for anti-pollution stuff, but when the same taxes are applied to cars that don't create the same emmissions, how does that make sense?

     

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  40.  
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    Shamalama, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 10:26am

    Re: If this is true, then...

    Viva La Revolucion!

     

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  41.  
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    Wyndle, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 10:28am

    Re: Money from fines, money from taxes.

    The government will charge you a tax per mile and send you a bill to collect.

    The problem with that is that the Constitution protects us from a direct, unapportioned Federal tax. The big tax items are booze, smokes, and gas and the tax is indirect even if the businesses pass on the pain. If you take the business out of the loop then only the state can tax your gas and even then it is dependant on how the state laws are written.

     

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  42.  
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    The infamous Joe, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 10:37am

    Re: Bizarre

    Since it seems I was misunderstood, I think I too should clarify:

    Don't presume that when I say there needs to be a revolution, that I mean we need a change in the president. I don't want to have to pick between the lesser of two evils anymore. The country has gotten far far away from what it started as, and it's time for a change. From the ground up, mind you.

    If the government didn't know how to handle the situation at hand, they should *not* have ruled in favor of themselves, but instead they should have ruled in favor of the people. It's not *our* fault the government is a big dumb machine that takes forever to catch up to change. If they don't have a system in place to tax vegitable oil, then it *isn't* taxed.

    The United States is no longer rules by the people for the people, and to put it in *their* language, that's a breach of contract. I read news stories *every single day* that dishearten and sadden me about the state of this [once] Great Nation now turned Corporation. We have this example, and the RIAA buying laws that remove rights from the people, not to mention buying the *tax bought* S.W.A.T. team to make raids on the people who pay their salary.

    I am not an Umpire that will not back down, I'm a fan of The Game (soon to be trademarked by the NFL) who is sick of the teams buying off the umpires.

    We are reaching critical mass with the shit that the normal citizen will take from our governemnt, and you can bet that the government is not going to go quietly into the night, so Revolution is the only answer. We are [again] in a situation of taxation without representation, and it was a good enough reson then-- it's a good enough reason now.

     

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  43.  
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    Black, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 10:45am

    To be just to all road user this couple should pay tax, the problem is that there is no strait forward means of collecting this tax. Down here in NZ we have something called Road User Charges that are prepaid on all diesel vehicles. What you do you pay for let’s say 1000 miles and you get sticker that is valid for next 1000 miles, while fuel does not have any tax on it. This way it is fair for all as all heavy machinery and farm machinery does not pay road taxes while using same fuel.

     

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  44.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 10:52am

    Is it fair for the person driving a electric car compared to the person driving the glacier killing SUV even though they both go 1000 miles?? I don't really think so. The electric car guy should get a rebate. :)

     

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  45.  
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    John Duncan Yoyo, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 10:59am

    Re: Re: Money from fines, money from taxes.

    So the states collude on a series of universal systems and you get fifty tax bills for your driving. Whoops fifty one I forgot DC.

     

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  46.  
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    zcat, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 11:02am

    Makes perfect sense to me..

    The system in New Zealand is slightly different. Petrol here has a "road user tax" applied to it. Diesel (or any fuel that isn't petrol) doesn't because a lot of it gets used for farm equipment that isn't using roads.

    So if you have a vehicle that uses any fuel other than petrol you must pay an additional "road-user charge" based on the odometer reading. The system is completely consistent, doesn't matter if it's diesel, vegetable oil, electricity, hydrogen or compressed air. If it's not petrol you pay road-user tax by the km.


    http://www.landtransport.govt.nz/commercial/ruc.html

     

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    slimcat (profile), Mar 8th, 2007 @ 11:11am

    Someone just needs to develop a 'Mr Fusion' that runs on ground-up politicians. I don't believe we would ever run out of fuel and the world would be happier, peaceful and more productive.

     

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  48.  
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    chris (profile), Mar 8th, 2007 @ 11:14am

    Re: Bizarre

    wow, that's insightful.

    now i know why nothing ever changes.

     

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  49.  
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    SATAN, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 11:22am

    Call Al

    Call Al Gore, he should be able to help, or Ed Bagley Jr

     

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  50.  
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    SPR, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 11:31am

    Veggie oil fuel tax?

    I am curious about how the official thugs knew about them using alternative fuels.

     

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  51.  
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    DV Henkel-Wallace, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 12:13pm

    Tax cooking oil as fuel?

    Well, cooking oil is fuel....for you.

    Seems to my a hybrid uses the petrol to make electricity so you're not really making "fuel"...else my fuel injectors would be mixing up special fuel mixtures of air, octane, pentane etc...

     

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  52.  
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    TP, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 12:22pm

    Common Sense

    For all of its flaws I can not imagine a greater country. The flaws are clashes of ideas and forks in the road. In a "perfect" country these differences are repressed. In our country they are aired in public and voted upon. Why would anyone want to destroy that?

    As far as Mr. Wetzel's story goes, here is some theory. I am quite certain that Mr. Wetzel is not the only person in the state of Illinois able to convert an egine to burn vegetable oil. I am also quite certain the the IRS has not issued a crackdown on these felons for evading fuel taxes as I have not seen a rash of these cases. So I pose the idea that we are dealing with an isolated case of poor judgement or some local vendetta. Perhaps an investigation is in order.

    Now I have some fact for you. Our system and all of its flaws appear to be working. Senate Bill 0267 drafted by Senator Franck C. Watson was given a "Do Pass" by the Senate Revenue Commitee on March 2nd and is scheduled for a second reading March 6th. A bill can become law after it's third reading. This bill is an ammendment to the original legislation which restricts the legislation from applying to "personal, non-commercial" use of vegetable oil and similar fuels. You can readily obtain the status of this bill at www.ilga.gov along with everything else they do.

    Before you dismiss this post and just read on, consider what has taken place. A small number of people were being wrongly taxed by the IRS. Local representation was alerted to the situation and took action. As a result new legislation could pass within a month that will nullify this tax for this man and others to come. This sound a lot like what our country's founding fathers had in mind.

     

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  53.  
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    mike gron, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 12:30pm

    Re:

    How can they tax us again. They tax our pay, then they tax everything we buy, they tax everything we throw away. Now we are being taxed on what we reuse.

     

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  54.  
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    teknosapien, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 12:31pm

    Yet another Republican tactic to help big oil

    This just seems to be such a crock of crap. Where is it written that the the government needs to make any kind of $ off of innovation, and alternatives to the norm.
    Strike another blow against freedom and the un-american way. They seem to be putting down everything that made this country great at one time.

    if the issue is a tax thing and only that why was it handled so harshly you might think that they were smuggling drugs or rape of a person -- oh wait that would not have been as harsh


    I wonder if they ever remember reading this:

    That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

     

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  55.  
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    William, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 12:33pm

    Here it comes

    Finally all those stupid smug tree hugging actresses that you see on late night talk shows talking about "my car runs on unicorn blood and happiness" will finally get there comeuppance. Seriously just get a car that gets good mileage and shut the heck up. How come the moment people started talking about global warming and conserving fuel SUVs became the top selling new vehicles. I think being an a-hole is just human nature.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56.  
    identicon
    Vincent Clement, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 12:54pm

    As a municipal employee, I just shake my head in disbelief at the stupid things government employees do. Since the a new simplified registration process and a way to self-assess the tax are to be introduced in the spring, the Illinois Department of Revenue should have just filed this case away at the bottom of some pile at the back of some desk drawer. Has the bad publicity been worth it?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57.  
    identicon
    IanC, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 1:05pm

    Re: Hybrid "electric fuel"

    Hybrids specifically don't qualify under the 'special fuel' clause simply because the electricity itself is generated by gasoline, which is a standard fuel. This is reinforced by the fact that where you *use* the gasoline is irrelevant (hence why you don't have to pump gas into only a car).

    Pure-electric cars would have more of a problem with this. However, a strong argument could be made that electricity itself doesn't qualify as a "fuel."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  58.  
    identicon
    Reed, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 1:53pm

    Re: Common Sense

    "For all of its flaws I can not imagine a greater country."

    Sorry. but you must have a pretty poor imagination. Your post reeks of ethnocentrism BTW.

    I agree though that our country is what our founding father had in mind. They were the elite land owners of the time and they started class warfare before we were even born. One thing has always held true since the original revolution of this country, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

    Of course it is hard to even know what is going on when we are all constantly bombarded by propaganda. On the federal level representation of the people hardly exists at all. On the other hand state governments do fair better in looking after their citizens.

    The root problem is corruption and money. Just imagine this, on a federal level there are less than a thousand representatives for over 300 million Americans. Does this concentration of power even make sense? Politicians will NEVER reform a system that keeps them in power and that's probably why the clause about the right of the people to abolish our government exists in our constitution.

    It is our right to institute a peaceful revolution and refashion our government in order to deal with the 21st century. We cannot keep at it with a 19th century mentality if we really want to address the problems of the new emerging global community.

     

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  59.  
    identicon
    Newob, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 2:29pm

    Smokescreen

    The thing about the government wanting to get the country off its "addiction" to oil is a smokescreen. Nixon said the same thing when he was in office, and the US is even MORE dependent on foreign oil today. The US isn't addicted to oil, it's addicted to MONEY; the government is a business and they make more money by catering to big oil. The government is OWNED by the highest bidder.

    Of course they will object if you use a different fuel without paying them taxes for it. They aren't interested in making it easy to use a different fuel, they are just interested in making money, and if they are not making money off of you then you are stealing from them, just like the RIAA and filesharing.

    Hell if the government can order people to not make surplus crops because it would violate the Commerce Clause, even if nobody would be making a profit from the extra crops, then they will stop anything that they perceive to be circumventing the economy. Big oil owns the government, and the government owns your ass.

     

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  60.  
    identicon
    Solo, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 2:39pm

    That is priceless. And if somebody would grow their own tobacco to smoke it, the government would come right after them for not paying cigarette taxes.

    Watch out if you brew your own beer as well.

    The tax is on commercial fuel. My car does not use commerial fuel, it uses recycled cooking oil, hence I do not have to pay the tax.

    Is there a law that prohibits me to use a fuel in my personal car that is not subject to the fuel tax? If not, you have no case.

     

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  61.  
    identicon
    Hegemon, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 2:41pm

    Fuel tax on hybrids.

    "As the guy notes, based on these arguments, shouldn't Toyota Prius drivers also have to pay a special motor fuel tax for the times when it's driving using electricity rather than fuel?"

    Interesting you should say that. In my previous hometown of Lincoln, Nebraska, there was a huge contraversy over that fact that hybrid owners were being charged extra when they licensed their vehicles because they weren't paying their "fair share" of gasoline tax. I don't remember from what level (city, county, or state) the tax came, but I believe it was later reversed by a lawsuit.

     

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  62.  
    identicon
    bulging neck veines, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 3:32pm

    we can fire these government official, can we not?
    let's go down to springfield, in masse, and make every congressperson sign a form requiring them to take action...if they refuse, let's vote them out...like Donald Trump "You're FIRED" go home...now!

     

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  63.  
    identicon
    You Gotta Be Kidding, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 5:14pm

    The Illinois Catch-22

    Does this surprise you coming from one of the most corrupt states in the republic with a history of fixing elections and all sorts of other things. Sounds like if you want to do anything innovative in Illinois, the price is $2500 in grease up front.

     

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  64.  
    identicon
    You Gotta Be Kidding, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 5:19pm

    Re: Yet another Republican tactic to help big oil

    Check it out ... Illinois is 100% controlled by Democrats. The Republicans had nothing to do with this here...which doesn't mean they wouldn't have had their palm opened up if it had been on a different hand.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  65.  
    identicon
    JK87, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 10:45pm

    wrong

    Hey dumb fucks! The TAXES on fuel are used to PAY FOR THE ROADS!

    Go ahead and run on fuel without paying taces. but don't you fiucking dare go anywhere near the ROADS that I pay for then you worthless peices of shit.

    The government has no problem with this fiuel.

    But of course., WORTHLESS web sites like this, an untalented "journalists" who have no jobs so they rely on internet have to make up bogus stories hoping that there are enough lemmings to lap it up like they do a man's seme's in the alley.

     

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  66.  
    identicon
    Jase, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 10:55pm

    Right

    Well smart a$$ - have you figured out how much freakin around the state would have done to get the money out of these people. It probably has cost them more in wages than they will ever collect in tax for road funding. So you point is completely moot.

    The government has no problem with this fuel - it has a problem with halfwit people that don't do a quick cost benefit tradeoff in their head before chasing some old folks for a few bucks.

     

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  67.  
    identicon
    Ryan, Mar 9th, 2007 @ 4:14am

    !!!

    the last line in the story says it all, the government could care less if we save oil and gas or not, it cares about how much tax revenue it can get.

     

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  68.  
    identicon
    You gotta be kidding, Mar 9th, 2007 @ 5:05am

    Re: wrong

    Your road tax money would be better spent on education reform in Illinois judging by your spelling.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  69.  
    identicon
    Wizard Prang, Mar 9th, 2007 @ 8:21am

    Re: Ummm...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  70.  
    identicon
    Serfs R Us, Mar 9th, 2007 @ 8:27am

    Re: Money from fines, money from taxes.

    I don’t know what the road department in your parts does with the taxes it collects for “road maintenance” but here they use it to tear up and resurface perfectly good roads. Most of the “road maintenance I see is make-work so they will use up their budget and get an increase next year. Wake up people, it’s not just big corporations you need to fear, or big government, but all of the above. That revolution is looking better and better.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  71.  
    identicon
    Geoff, Mar 9th, 2007 @ 8:51am

    Re: Bizarre

    Dave, everything you say in paragraphs two and three is true and provides good explanation for the behaviours observed. But honestly, isn't it time for people to just stop accepting such foolishness, whether from the private sector, the public sector or the first estate? Shrugging one's shoulders with that "it is what it is" resignation only promotes further creep of such treatment throughout the culture.

    If you're content with the great slide toward mediocrity, look away from your TiVo replay of 'American Idol' long enough to raise your hand and say "whatever". If you still believe in striving for excellence, breakdowns such as this should create a host of negative reactions that spur you to action. The collective "we" is as crappy as we let ourselves be.

    And yes, I do think there's nothing wrong with this county that a good, old-fashioned revolution (probably in the form of a tax boycott) wouldn't cure. It's long past time that the citizenry of the states and the nation took back the management of their respective political entities. It's not this story that causes me to think that way, it's the collected observations of a lifetime watching governments (local, state and federal) grow like dried sponges soaking up the pool of wealth in this country with little in return for it.

     

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  72.  
    identicon
    Geoff, Mar 9th, 2007 @ 9:33am

    Re: Re: Bizarre

    Huzzah! Couldn't agree with you more. Other than drastic measures that involve death and destruction, the citizenry have lost most of the controls over government that made democracy such a powerful political system. The only means left to directly and immediately control government is fiscal control and that could only be done through tax boycott.

    Sadly, the legal beagles took that avenue away from us by 1)making tax protests only marginally lawful; and 2)using withholding tax as a means to force people to pay their taxes.

    Only as a matter of discussion, I strongly suspect that if as few as 10% of people in any political jurisdiction refused to pay their taxes, any government would have no choice but to listen and change. If 25% refused, it would be a slam-dunk to change governments attitude. It's my understanding, however, that encouraging or abetting others to not pay their taxes is a crime of serious proportions that is probably more punishable than murder.

     

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  73.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 9th, 2007 @ 9:40am

    Re: ???

    >>

    What? After reading that several times the best I can get from it is that they are required to pay a tax but they are not qualified to register for the license that is a prerequisite for paying the tax?

    >>

    It's an old strategy that your elected officials use to control actions without enacting controversial laws that might raise public awareness of exactly what they're doing. It's how ATF controls alcohol production and gun sales, it's how the DEA controls marijuana sales, it's how governments of all stripes grab control over behaviour they wish to eradicate.

    Require a tax stamp, license or permit

    Don't issue said stamp, license or permit

    Arrest violators for tax evasion

    It's how the government finally jailed Al Capone. It's how Harry Anslinger made pot illegal - it's an old trick my friend.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  74.  
    identicon
    GitmoGreg, Mar 9th, 2007 @ 11:48am

    Keep Government OUT OF IT!

    Im sure, like most of you here probably have posted, why does the government need to be involved at all? They generally prove that they can't run anything anyway. F*** 'em. It is actually scary.

     

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  75.  
    identicon
    Julius, Mar 9th, 2007 @ 9:07pm

    Re: wrong

    JK87, With such profanity and negative thinking I assume you are a beneficiary of the welfare state?

    I say these people are preventing this oil from being dumped in a landfill, for all you know. they are probably cleaning up the environment well worth more than the 4.00 tax owed each month.

    You will note that if they tried to pay an additional 48.00 and change on their state income tax form under a label of "Other" the matter would be cleared up in no time.

    What is clear to me is the fact that the people running the fraud known as State of Illinois are more interested in control than any other single issue.

     

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  76.  
    identicon
    Joseph M., Mar 10th, 2007 @ 4:41pm

    My Toyota Prius Hybrid Gets From 57-67 Miles Per G

    I really think it should be easier for people to pay a fuel tax when running vegtable oil in their vehicles. I really wish you all the best of luck.

    Meanwhile in Pasadena CA, My Toyota Prius Hybrid is getting from 57 Miles Per Gallon, All the way up to 67 Miles Per Gallon. I couldn't be more happy. And I've done the research, and guess what; The Toyota Hybrid is really and trully the very best Hybrid Made. Have a Great Day!!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  77.  
    identicon
    Overcast, Mar 13th, 2007 @ 11:11am

    Meanwhile in Pasadena CA, My Toyota Prius Hybrid is getting from 57 Miles Per Gallon, All the way up to 67 Miles Per Gallon. I couldn't be more happy. And I've done the research, and guess what; The Toyota Hybrid is really and trully the very best Hybrid Made. Have a Great Day!!!

    How many batteries does that thing have? How are you going to dispose of them all?

    I'm curious which is worse - extra fuel consumption over the year or millions of batteries rotting in landfills, spilling out acid, lead, and zinc.

    hmmm

    When those things all need replaced, you may well make up for what you saved in fuel in one quick stroke.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  78.  
    identicon
    REVOLUTION, Mar 13th, 2007 @ 12:26pm

    REVOLUTION

    yes
    REVOLT!

    a new day is upon us!

    a day of.....

    REVOLUTION!!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  79.  
    identicon
    Ron, Mar 13th, 2007 @ 12:50pm

    "How many batteries does that thing have? How are you going to dispose of them all?"

    Batteries are non hazardous and can be recycled.

     

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  80.  
    identicon
    Brian, Mar 16th, 2007 @ 7:47am

    Batteries are non Hazardous!!!!

    Ron, First of all, batteries are not only hazardous, but they can burn, disable and potentially kill you.

    Second: batteries can be recycled, but that doesn't mean they are. I know I can dispose of batteries by simply putting them in a 50 gallon trash bag with all my other house hold garbage and Waste Management is not going to stop that. My Cell phone manufacture expects me to mail my Cell Phone NiCad battery back to them if it stops working....what is cheaper? Mail it back...or slip it into the garbage? Human nature is to take the path of least resistance, it is what it is, even if we are talking about a 40lb battery. How many of these Hybrid car batteries are going to make it to some place where they shouldn't? 15%? 10%? Especially considering the cost of just replacing it, there are going to be a substiantial amount of these that will make it into my drinking water!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  81.  
    identicon
    2oonhed, Mar 23rd, 2007 @ 11:24am

    Re: Here it comes

    William, I think that global warming is a farce and all discussions & action/remidies people have taken are pure comedy as per http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medieval_Warm_Period and you are right about human nature, not only are most A-holes, but a large majority of those A-holes have ankle biting tendencies, the later being the catagory that the people who snitched on the veggie oil burners belong to.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  82.  
    identicon
    2oonhed, Mar 23rd, 2007 @ 3:17pm

    People are Bastards

    ....or to quote Dr. Kelso from Scrubs, "People are bastards. They are all bastard covered bastards with bastard filling."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  83.  
    identicon
    Rick Corgiat, Apr 11th, 2007 @ 10:24pm

    Re: Cars on Vegtable Oil?

    Is that really a true story ? I am in the process of selling ten thousand gallons of used vegtable oil that has been filtered to run in automobiles. Is that a felony ? I'm planning on charing sales tax only.

    Rick

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  84.  
    identicon
    Boobies, Apr 20th, 2007 @ 6:24am

    Silly people and silly problems

    The government is really a reflection of the popular american ideals. You need to change the culture of the US before going to the extreme and just taking out the government. It's the people of the US who go out and buy the Cadillac Escalade instead of a Prius. Most people buy the ineffiecient vehicles and don't want to pay so much for gas, so the US goes to war. If people didn't buy all that crap willingly then the big car companies would have no choice but to offer more efficient cars that people would actually buy.

    Most of you people whine because you don't want the government to tell you that you can't do something, but that is actually exactly what you want. You want the government to tell all americans that they can't buy those horrid SUV's, but that won't happen as long as the SUV's are more popular than you.

     

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  85.  
    identicon
    someone who cares, May 9th, 2007 @ 8:18am

    my God

    The negitive comments by those in this posting is the attitude of cancer, one that spreads and kills. I for one would love to be a part of a greater cause to wake up the good people of this country. I would like to take a message to the American People, those who dont know what is happening behind the scene.

    I know that there would be a great break out of the people if they knew, that they could save their hard earned dollars by using alternative fuels to power their vehicles and homes. We have been conditioned to believe that gas and electric is the only way to go. To pay the ever increasing cost of it.

    The technology has been here for years and years to power our cars and our homes for little to no cost, but has been hidden from our site. Now it is time for America to know the truth.

     

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  86.  
    identicon
    un known, May 23rd, 2007 @ 8:14pm

    making your on full. if you can get away with it?

    for give me if i mis spell eney words well its like this eney one could make there on fule the problem is that if you do thin that hurts the rich man wher it hurts and we all know wher that is at dont we? money runs the world but onley a fue people haue that power and the rest of us ar the way thay get rich its our own fault that things ar the way thar ar we could change things if ever one would stick to gether dut how to do that is beond me know one wonts to help other people in this day and time now one even thinks about eney one eals... the days of naber helping naber ar gone most people dont even know ther naber so how do you get people like that to work to gether i can not sea most americans making ther own fule can you thay ar to bisey to even stop and think the whole fule thing over yes thay will gripe about it while filling there cars trucks mineyvans what ever els up at the gass stashion but thats all thay will do i think thay ar all eather stupied or afrade doth mounts to about the same thingin my book i think we as americans have the right to make our on fule for our on use i dont think eney one has the right to tell us how to live oure one lives were not babes that we need people telling us how to live our lives if i have a horse do ihave to pay taxes on the food he eats not if i rase it my self what i rase my self is mine not the goverments or the ststes it belongs to me and me alone to do with what i. wont or is that aginst the law to if not it soon will be you know the old saying dont bite the hand that feeds you? we feed the world and as long as we by our fule frome the other guy thats ok. but if we make our fule thin wer up the creek wit a paddle or a boot. so all i can say is if i new the ancher to the quistion thin i would tell you so what do we do? i gess we keep giving all our money to the other guy you would think he would have anuf to do him but i ges he is after it all dont you

     

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  87.  
    identicon
    Scott, May 24th, 2007 @ 4:49pm

    EV1

    Could anyone say EV1,EV1,EV1,EV1,EV1,EV1,EV1,EV1,EV1,EV1,EV1,EV1,EV1,EV1,EV1,
    EV1,EV1,EV1,EV1,EV1,EV1,EV1,EV1,EV1,EV 1,EV1,EV1,EV1,EV1,EV1,
    EV1,EV1,EV1,EV1,EV1,EV1,EV1,EV1,EV1,EV1,EV1,EV1,EV1,EV1,EV1,
    EV1,EV1,EV1,EV1,EV1,EV1,EV1,EV1,EV1, EV1,EV1,EV1,EV1,EV1,EV1,
    thank you GM
    Take a look, rent the video and then complain. whoooooo cares about fossil fuel.

    http://ev1-club.power.net/

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  88.  
    identicon
    Ken, May 28th, 2007 @ 9:42am

    Reply to Rick Corgait:

    "Is that really a true story ? I am in the process of selling ten thousand gallons of used vegtable oil that has been filtered to run in automobiles. Is that a felony ? I'm planning on charing sales tax only."

    Rick: There is quite a bit of difference an end consumers using say 20 gallons of WVO a week vs your selling 10,000 gallons of it for that intended purpose. I suspect you need to talk to the fuel tax people for your state. May turn out you have to include a fuel road tax, but not state sales tax as vehicle fuels aren't normally taxed in that manner.

     

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  89.  
    identicon
    VeggieFuel, Jun 11th, 2007 @ 9:58am

    TAX the TIRES for each vehicle.... no fuel tax...

     

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  90.  
    identicon
    one who cares about our personal freedoms, Jun 28th, 2007 @ 7:57pm

    Re: Wow, go Gov

    what doesnt make sense to you about running cars on biodiesel? bio is made from vegetable oil which is considered waste oil. Taxes have already been paid on the oil when it was new out of the bottle anyway so that means it will now be subject to double taxation. Isn't that already illegal? also it has been scientificly proven that biodiesel burns cleaner than the so called low sulfer diesel fuel that is now commercially available. The Gov't,federal and state have overstepped their boundries this time and we need to put a stop to it.

     

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  91.  
    identicon
    not a journalist, Jun 28th, 2007 @ 9:00pm

    Re: wrong

    Ill bet you drive a toyota or a honda and ride a bicycle to work. You dont know anything about road taxes. Big trucks pay 90% of the fuel taxes in this country yet the interstate highways are in worse shape than many state and county roads. You must be a democrat because only a democrat would call another person a dumbf**k. before you start calling people names you should go back to elementary school and learn how to spell and write again. And quit telling the rest of us that the world is coming to an end because of global warming. In the 70's people like you said the earth was cooling down, now its warming up. So which is it,are we getting hot or cold?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  92.  
    identicon
    E Garza, Oct 13th, 2007 @ 11:21am

    Re: If this is true, then...

    you are right

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  93.  
    identicon
    Juan Ponce de León, Mar 13th, 2008 @ 3:19am

    Used Vegetable Oil + Grilled Cheese = Yuck!

    I know from experience that used vegetable oil doesn't make very good Grilled Cheese Sandwiches. They don't taste right.

    Beware!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  94.  
    identicon
    Proud Uhmurcun, Apr 7th, 2008 @ 5:20pm

    Re: yup

    Sounds to me like you don't like freedom

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  95.  
    identicon
    Time4Revolution, Jun 24th, 2008 @ 9:33am

    Ridiculous

    So... am I to understand that if people DON'T drive cars or use gas, they still have to pay some kind of fuel tax?

    This government is the biggest POS, lying, underhanded, criminal bunch I've ever seen. There IS NO "We the People" anymore, with regards to our government. They're practicing "divide and conquer" and friends, our asses have been conquered. I'm fucking sick of it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  96.  
    identicon
    Caz, Feb 17th, 2009 @ 8:30pm

    Fines And Felony Charges For Letting Your Car Run On Restaurant Vegetable Oil?

    Oh well, the government wants people to buy petrol at their stupid prices and anyone who comes up with a better solution is breaking the law. I would want to know which law I was breaking considering the IRS is a criminal society made up of criminals.
    Pah, using veg oil to power your car seems like a real good idea. Did you know that it is a state crime for the IRS to step foot on your property without your permission?!?, and If you write to them telling them such, they have to ask your permission to enter your garden.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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