Green and Equal

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Green and Equal, an impossible obligationImagine being subject to laws that cannot be followed and being fined for not fulfilling this impossible obligation. This is the great dilemma faced by owners of hundreds of thousands of public pools that are now required to install wheelchair lifts and ramps in their pools, or else face fines and lawsuits because they violate disability laws.

Although the Department of Justice [DOJ] recently issued a 60-day stay of execution for the pool owners, it is only a temporary respite as the present administration has expanded the rules for public access under the Americans with Disabilities Act [ADA]. In the name of equality, these rules now require publicly accessible pools have two “accessible means of entry” installed. One of these means must be a wheelchair lift or ramp. Spas are also required to provide a lift or transfer system to assist the disabled under the new regulations.

The ADA has created a situation that has been rightfully labeled “pool-mageddon” by those who oppose the ruling. It made no effort to “grandfather” any pre-existing installations. Rather it made a sweeping mandate that obliges all publically accessed pools and spas to comply. To add insult to injury, there are simply not enough lifts available in the country to comply with this new mandate. What is worse, the DOJ did not recognize the absurdity of this impossible mandate and reversed the decision. It has only stayed the execution of those who have no means to comply.

Do not think this is an isolated case of out of control socialistic regulations limited to the DOJ. In the name making fuels greener, the EPA has recently fined oil companies for not adding a required amount of a special bio-fuel called cellulosic ethanol to their gasoline and diesel. The problem is this additive does not exist. That’s right,  the EPA is requiring firms to add a fuel that does not exist, under the penalty of hefty fines starting in 2011. Companies that supply fuel for transportation will face stiff fines when they close their books for 2011 because they did not comply with the federal mandate. It gets worse, the fines for 2012 are higher and the prospects of developing this fuel are nowhere in sight.

According to Tom Tanton, president of T2 & Associates in California, “cellulosic ethanol is not available commercially because the science and economics are not there yet. The technical difficulty stems from trying to break down the cellulose into sugar.” There is some hope on the horizon for the development of an industrial enzyme that will produce cellulosic ethanol in large quantities while at a low cost, which is being developed in Denmark by a company called Novozymes. They have been dedicated to perfecting this critical enzyme for the last ten years, but still do not have a winner. Tanton clearly sees that “this is undoubtedly a great scientific advancement, but there are still large hurdles to overcome before commercialization.”

Such mandates reflect the growing tendency to impose politically correct and green alternatives upon consumers through impossible mandates. It seems that bureaucrats believe that all persons are all born green and equal and woe to anyone who questions this ruling with the truth or reality.

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