Smells Like Sulfur: EPA Mulls Extra Gas Regulations

There has never been a finer example of government apathy for the middle class than last week's proposal by the EPA to require oil refineries to restrict the sulfur content of their fuel.  

As Americans are seeing more more of their paycheck disappear at the gas pump, the Obama Administration is hard at work to make it more expensive. Apparently the inability of prices to go past $4 a gallon is causing sleepless nights at the EPA.

Estimates by oil refiners say that the new regulations will cost 8-9 cents per gallon more. It’s my speculation that the cost will go even higher, since every kink in the supply chain seems to bump up the price. Chicago often has higher gas prices than Hawaii, because the unique formulation required by the EPA there limits supply. It's much the same reason why the Colonel's secret recipe costs more than chicken at the grocery store.

Of course the Administration claims that that the new regulations will only raise the cost of gas about a penny a gallon. So who are you going to believe? The people that actually makes the stuff, or the Administration that just filled up a diesel Limo with regular gas? Unfortunately, most Americans today trust a swarm of attorneys over petroleum accountants and chemical engineers.

The oil industry revolutionized transportation over the past 100 years. It has given every American family the ability to vacation anywhere in the country (without a private 747); made it possible for businessmen to hold meetings on both coasts before flying home for dinner; and made raspberries available in the middle of winter.

On the other hand, the Government has stifled the economy with taxes and regulations. They have made cars smaller and more expensive, turned boarding an airplane into a grope-fest, and made it nearly impossible to buy fresh unpasteurized milk. And yet, I guarantee most people trust the government over oil executives.

This is why there was little sense of irony when the President announced (on April 1st, no less) that April will be “National Financial Capability Month,“ an opportunity for Washington to teach young people how to budget responsibly—which is kind of like Ron Jeremy teaching a course on abstinence.

It makes a lot of sense when you think about it, because the young people of today are going to need a lot of money in the future to pay our Social Security benefits and the interest on the national debt. Let’s hope they don’t get too accustomed to eating.

While many of us are still trying to figure out what went wrong last November, I think we need to delve a little deeper. When did politicians stop being viewed as lying, self-interested, power-hungry bags of corruption rather than the pillars of society and keepers of higher knowledge?

We have a lot of work to do.


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