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Somebody alert Al Gore . . . I’m serial

In the People’s Republic of Illinois, an elderly couple converted the Volkswagen to run on vegetable oil. Apparently, that requires a license and payment of a fuel tax at either the gas or diesel rate:

The agents informed the Wetzels that they were interested in their car, a 1986 Volkswagen Golf, that David Wetzel converted to run primarily from vegetable oil but also partly on diesel.

Wetzel uses recycled vegetable oil, which he picks up weekly from an organization that uses it for frying food at its dining facility.

“They told me I am required to have a license and am obligated to pay a motor fuel tax,” David Wetzel recalled. “Mr. May also told me the tax would be retroactive.”

Since the initial visit by the agents on Jan. 4, the Wetzels have been involved in a struggle with the Illinois Department of Revenue. The couple, who live on a fixed budget, have been asked to post a $2,500 bond and threatened with felony charges.


According to the Wetzels, May told them during his Jan. 4 visit that they would have to pay taxes at either the gasoline rate of 19 cents per gallon or the diesel rate of 21 cents per gallon.

A retired research chemist and food plant manager, Wetzel produced records showing he has used 1,134.6 gallons of vegetable oil from 2002 to 2006. At the higher rate, the tax bill would come to $244.24.

“That averages out to $4.07 a month,” Wetzel noted, adding he is willing to pay that bill.

Via David.

5 Responses to “Somebody alert Al Gore . . . I’m serial”

  1. #9 Says:

    The .gov treats this man like he is a moonshiner. I like the man-bear-pig reference.

  2. Kevin Baker Says:

    I swear to jeebus, Rand was understating the case.

    “There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals.

    “Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone?

    “But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted-and you create a nation of law-breakers-and then you cash in on the guilt.”

  3. The Comedian Says:

    It isn’t just that they want him to pay the fuel tax, they want him to get licensed and bonded as a special fuel supplier. For God’s sake all he does is get used vegetable oil and run his car on it. It sounds like he isn’t even turning it into biodiesel first (splitting off the glycerin), he is likely just filtering it and running the WVO in his car as-is.

    The state makes wants, it seems, to license and bond him like it would a damn refinery.

    We must all stop manbearpig.

  4. BobG Says:

    Sounds like the state government has too many agents and not enough real work for them to do…

  5. markm Says:

    The tax isn’t unreasonable – to the extent that the tax is used to pay for road construction and repairs, rather than siphoned off “for the greater good” (that is, to buy votes from other groups than drivers). However, the licensing requirements are ridiculous.

    And, note how the environmental good goes by the wayside as soon as you do something that’s better for the environment without getting the lefties’ approval first!