VegetableoilDuring a time when fossil fuels are known to increase greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and alternative fuels are a hot topic, it seems as though the government would be praising the efforts of a 79 year old Illinois man who drives a 1986 Volkswagen Golf which he converted to run on vegetable oil and diesel. No praises for him though, instead he has been threatened with felony charges and asked to pay a $2,500 bond.

David Wetzel, a retired research chemist and food plant manager has been using vegetable oil and diesel to fuel his car which he says gets around 46 miles per gallon. Besides using an alternative fuel source, he’s being extremely resourceful, using only recycled vegetable oil that comes from a local dining facility who uses the oil for frying foods.

What’s the problem? Well, when the Illinois Department of Revenue came knocking on his door back in January, he was informed that they were there because of the car and that he was required to have a license to use the vegetable oil. Additionally, he’s obligated to pay motor fuel tax. The license would give him permission to be a “special fuel supplier and receiver” and without it, if he continued to use his “veggie mobile,” he would face Class 3 felony charges which means he could spend up to five years in prison.

Currently Wetzel is fighting the demands that he quit using his car, and he’s also gotten the support of state legislators who are backing him. Wetzel, when speaking to the Herald & Review Newspaper said, “You hear the president saying we need to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, you hear the governor saying that.” Well so much for reducing dependence on foreign oil!

I could see if the man was selling the vegetable oil to others to use as fuel, but for personal use? I don’t see any harm in this situation. And the fact that he’s still driving a 1986 VW Golf is pretty amazing too. Sounds to me like the Illinois Department of Revenue had too much time on their hands.

Source: Neowin Forums