In decades past a manly man would reign his 400 horespower chariot into a service station, there to have it be admired and cherished, examined and replenished, refueled and viewed with wistful longing as two black streaks of rubber erupted from beneath a billowing blue cloud, the whole remarkable spectacle celebrated by an orgasmic frictional scream of tire and asphalt. In years past a real man would pull up to the self-service pump, slip the nozzle into his buggy, and savor thick petrol fumes as the pump numbers lazily rolled to indicate his minor debt to the owner. He would pay up and roll out. In today's kinder and gentler ecologically-aware nurturant society enforced by jackbooted compassion of chaotic Federal regulation, any of that will get you up to a $10,000 fine and a year in prison, freak!
Gasoline once embodied masculinity. That harsh but sweet essence was the flawless compliment to an authentic man's natural scent. Billions of gallons of rich balm spewed from refineries ringing the coastline of this great nation to power Detroit's behemoths to ever greater excesses of brute power, and their owners to expansive fusillades of sexual conquest. We plundered desiccated Middle East wastelands. We sucked the black gold from mile-deep drill holes, plundering the abyss. As we fueled a civilization wielding wealth and power culled from the physical, cultural and political conquest of an entire planet we tossed pennies of compensation in the faces of our Third World vassals.
Nature's crude bounty was cleansed of its vanadium, sulfur and nitrogen. It howled through platinum-doped synthetic zeolites at red heat, its molecules reformed in manifold carbocationic rearrangements and hydrogen quenches to the size and form demanded by shrieking exhaust manifolds gorged to repletion by dual barreled carburetors. A trained nose could assay octane number from its brisk tang alone. The voluptuous oil scent of benzene floated upon the brutish sensuality of highly branched hydrocarbons, their aggressive musk scents brightened by napthenic fractions. Gasoline was a holy thing wrested from the depths of Hell and fashioned by man into a wrought ornament of heaven.
(Do not disparage the diesel cycle. Napalm may smell like victory, but diesel evokes big trucks, heavy equipment, iron ships; hot oil, spanners the height of a man, 2" drive socket sets, and no stinking Kettering ignition systems.)
We don't do that anymore. Any of it.
Federal bureaucrats with polished fingernails and woven leather braces disgorged a hot bolus of spin, decrying billowing smog shielding urban populations from ultraviolet radiation. They pandered ecologists who in trade for Federal grants plunged rapiers of fear and anguish into the hearts of honest men. Enviro-whiner Luddites sensed provocative spoor of Federal regulation urging them to aggrandize raw power and bestow utter devastation, for a return of ever-growing levies, to a laity grown languorous, complacent and trusting. They enlisted the collusion of the Oil Barons and the Bankers who had availed themselves of the freedom to run roughshod over wretched countries and now grew excited at the prospect of plundering the richest country of all. Enviro-whinerism is that philosophy and dialectic in direct opposition to productivity. Government was slow to realize its full potential, much as a fish is unaware of the water in which it swims.
California gasoline is now by Federal mandate (no inconvenience of due process) composed of 20% synthetic oxygenates. The calamitous cost of this affliction goes beyond the $1.60/gallon price extorted from commuters and housewives for a piddling 92 octane juice. The obscene diversion of American industry to create complex chemicals only to have them burned as fuel is mere glint of fiasco. The stink and toxicity of this vile liquid, its corrosion of our fuel tanks, and its erosion of elastomeric seals and gaskets throughout our engines sending them to the junkyard is an unanticipated but officially welcomed frisson. Truly, the cherry atop the sundae is that Federally mandated oxygenates, volume for volume and pound for pound, have substantially less energy than real gasoline. How exquisite the irony, that we must fill our tanks by Government decree with impotent synthetic exhaust!
How superb it is that the "gasoline" crafted to reduce smog levels in our most heavily traveled urban areas beset by a photochemical inferno of gaseous corruption not only increases that pollution, but enhances its acute and chronic toxicity as well. Why is this not a surprise? Perhaps 40% synthetic oxygenates would do the trick. It would only cost a little more. Perhaps 60%. Perhaps 90%. Save the environment! In ten years who will recall the majesty of real gasoline?
In 2003, massive cabals of Enviro-whiners are suing petroleum companies for contaminating the global environment with methyl tert-butyl ether. MTBE was the "oxygenate" for which Enviro-whiners massively sued petroleum companies, demanding it be added to gasoline. MTBE is an EPA priority carcinogen. Enviro-whinerism: expensive, shoddy, deadly.
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