Speaking of biofuels. . .

After my previous post about a serious academic paper on biofuels, I came across this amusing article about a fight in California over collecting fuel taxes from people who burn used cooking oil in their diesel cars. Alt fuels and alt vehicle technologies are accelerating rapidly. Which means fuel taxes are an increasingly unsustainable way to fund transportation infrastructure, a key reality my colleagues and I are wrestling with on the National Surface Transportation Infrastructure Finance Commission. What struck me about this article though, is the central point that CA’s regulatory system cannot handle the very green innovations the system is supposedly set up to encourage. The stories of people who so desparately want to use greener biofules and just can’t do so legally are jaw droppers. That lightweight Terry Tamminen says in the article “When you go through a period of change, there is always a clunkiness to the bureaucracy.” That misses the mark by a mile. Regulatory systems are designed to find what is believed to be the one best way to solve a problem, and force that on everyone and expunge all else. Our crazy over-regulated energy system will continue to suppress innovations and thwart progress.

Adrian Moore

Adrian Moore, Ph.D., is vice president of policy at Reason Foundation.