Thursday, May 10, 2012

The regulatory grip that is squeezing the life out of civilization itself

It started in California.  Then it just growed.

An ominous regulatory announcement from the EPA came in 2007: “Starting with containers manufactured in 2009… it is expected that the new cans will be built with a simple and inexpensive permeation barrier and new spouts that close automatically.”

The government never said “no vents.” It abolished them de facto with new standards that every state had to adopt by 2009. So for the last three years, you have not been able to buy gas cans that work properly. They are not permitted to have a separate vent. The top has to close automatically. There are other silly things now, too, but the biggest problem is that they do not do well what cans are supposed to do.

The can on the left was bought last year.  Had the other one for a few years.  The new can has a complicated capspout with controls - a switch to lock back when you want to pour, a button to mash make the gas come out.  Release the button and the (for lack of a better word) safety resets.  It is annoying.  It does not feel cheaply made, exactly, but I wonder how long it will last.

Some boating forums have suggested drilling a hole and putting a tire stem in there and using the screw top as the way to close the hole.  Great idea. Just what I wanted to do with my Saturday afternoon, hacking the gas can to make it work exactly as well as it did three years ago, before government wrecked it.

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