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Why Did A Train Carrying Biofuel Cross The Border 24 Times And Never Unload?

Tyler Durden's picture




 

Wondering why rail traffic has been somewhat surprisingly consistent despite uncertainty? Concerned at government's tenticular reach into each and every aspect of our lives? This somewhat stunning anecdotal report from OilPrice.com might shed some light:

A cargo train filled with biofuels crossed the border between the US and Canada 24 times between the 15th of June and the 28th of June 2010; not once did it unload its cargo, yet it still earned millions of dollars... The companies “made several million dollars importing and exporting the fuel to exploit a loophole in a U.S. green energy program.” Each time the loaded train crossed the border the cargo earned its owner a certain amount of Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs), which were awarded by the US EPA to “promote and track production and importation of renewable fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel.”

We suggest this is merely yet another unintended consequence (just as we noted here) and perverted incentive of central planning and an all encroaching government.

 

Via James Burgess of OilPrice.com,

A cargo train filled with biofuels crossed the border between the US and Canada 24 times between the 15th of June and the 28th of June 2010; not once did it unload its cargo, yet it still earned millions of dollars. CBC News of Canada was the first to pick up on this story on the 3rd of December 2012, and began their own investigation into the possible explanations behind this odd behaviour.

CN Rail, the operator of the train, stated their innocence in the matter as they had only “received shipping directions from the customer, which, under law, it has an obligation to meet. CN discharged its obligations with respect to those movements in strict compliance with its obligations as a common carrier, and was compensated accordingly.” Even so, they still managed to earn C$2.6 million in shipping fees.

During their investigation CBC managed to obtain an internal email which stated that the cars of the train were all reconfigured between each trip but that the cargo was never actually unloaded, because “each move per car across the border is revenue generated”, the sale of the cargo itself was inconsequential.

The cargo of the train was owned by Bioversal Trading Inc., or its US partner Verdero, depending on what stage of the trip it was at. The companies “made several million dollars importing and exporting the fuel to exploit a loophole in a U.S. green energy program.” Each time the loaded train crossed the border the cargo earned its owner a certain amount of Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs), which were awarded by the US EPA to “promote and track production and importation of renewable fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel.” The RINs were supposed to be retired each time the shipment passed the border, but due to a glitch not all of them were. This enabled Bioversal to accumulate over 12 million RINs from the 24 trips, worth between 50 cents and $1 each, which they can then sell on to oil companies that haven’t met the EPA’s renewable fuel requirements.

Both the Canada Border Services Agency and the US EPA have launched investigations into the possibility of fraud, although the companies claim that the practice was totally legal.

 

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Wed, 01/02/2013 - 17:51 | 3116364 Muppet Pimp
Muppet Pimp's picture

You can't make this stuff up! LO f'n L

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 17:58 | 3116399 ParkAveFlasher
ParkAveFlasher's picture

All aboard the capital misallocation express!

Can Banzai do a Thomas the Train pshop with Barack and Benny as Thomas and Percy?  I know he doesn't take requests but ... this is special. 

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:13 | 3116485 Leopold B. Scotch
Leopold B. Scotch's picture

Choo Fuckin' Choo.

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:29 | 3116553 Michaelwiseguy
Michaelwiseguy's picture

I don't see anything wrong with this. It's like the TBTF banks getting free interest money payments on the free Fed money they have stored for the Fed in their banks.

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:31 | 3116560 CH1
CH1's picture

Yeah, that central control is SOOO efficient.

Only government can do some things!

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:32 | 3116564 Serfs Up
Serfs Up's picture

Why did it cross 24 times...um...to get to the other side?

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:47 | 3116617 Divided States ...
Divided States of America's picture

Effin like these HFT algos punting the same fuckin shares back and forth for the sole purpose of collecting the fuckin rebates with no benefit to society whatsoever....theres always a loser to every story that doesnt make sense.

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:55 | 3116646 Michaelwiseguy
Michaelwiseguy's picture

I had a model Lionel railroad that was much more efficient. It was set up in a figure 8. Where's my free money for that?

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:59 | 3116658 SafelyGraze
Wed, 01/02/2013 - 19:37 | 3116799 Stackers
Stackers's picture

If it aint broke - fix it till it is

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 20:11 | 3116912 TwoShortPlanks
TwoShortPlanks's picture

John Tuld: "There are three ways to make a living in this business: be first, be smarter, or cheat"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O5EsNV-gyr8

The antics of a once decadent but now declining nation is to.....CHEAT!

Click-Click...Click-Click...Click-Click!

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 20:28 | 3116975 ZerOhead
ZerOhead's picture

Actually they chose first(?) and smarter...

YeeeHaw. The CRazY Train is going GREEN... now PAY the boys for a job well done!

Thu, 01/03/2013 - 01:17 | 3117769 TwoShortPlanks
TwoShortPlanks's picture

What I'm saying is that 'First' and 'Smarter' have been used up and there's only one option left....so expect it to ratchet up....a-fuck-of-a-lot.

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 19:36 | 3116797 combatsnoopy
combatsnoopy's picture

I was waiting to read a metaphor for the algos, it's perfect. 

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:51 | 3116630 smlbizman
smlbizman's picture

please expose the principals in these companies...than lets talk...

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 20:32 | 3116989 klockwerks
klockwerks's picture

Great idea and what I thought of 1st. See if Buffet owns any part of that

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:58 | 3116659 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

LOL.  New riddle for the 21st century.

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 19:48 | 3116844 SafelyGraze
SafelyGraze's picture

Why Did A Train Carrying Biofuel Cross The Border 24 Times And Never Unload?

and why did a truck carrying $10m in ag veer off the road and spill all its shiny cargo?
http://www.wbng.com/news/video/Truck-Carrying-Silver-Crashes-183797061.html

truck accident is the new boating accident 
 

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 21:51 | 3117258 Shizzmoney
Shizzmoney's picture

That cocaine doesn't snort itself

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 20:39 | 3117012 Muddy1
Muddy1's picture

You're missing the point.  Who's Mr. Railroad, and who stands to gain the most from this?  Warren E. Buffet, FOB

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:20 | 3116522 ZDRuX
ZDRuX's picture

Really people, how is government forcefully stealing your money and giving it away to people it thinks are worth it consdiered capitalism?

If you're going to make yourself look uninformed, at least put some effort into it.

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:28 | 3116546 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

It's not like they are paying out in gold or anything valuable. And as for Bennie Bucks, he prints $180B a month worth, they gotta go somewhere you know. Takes a lot of creativity to move that much coin out the door every month. Try it some time and see how well you do.

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:42 | 3116592 Poor Grogman
Poor Grogman's picture

In the UK the govt just gives it to the illegal immigrants.

This kills two birds, it keeps the illegals coming in, thus enabling expansion of the spending programs.

Karl Marx was right, destroy the money and you destroy capitalism...

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 20:39 | 3116995 Sancho Ponzi
Sancho Ponzi's picture

*

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 21:34 | 3117193 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

what kind of idiot immigrates to a country with shitty food, shitty weather, shitty architecture, shitty economy with all their eggs in finance?

 

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 21:40 | 3117219 Poor Grogman
Poor Grogman's picture

You forgot the free money part...

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 21:56 | 3117272 Cojock
Cojock's picture

If it weren't for 'all their eggs in finance', I'd guess Mexicans in Texas.

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 19:13 | 3116727 JohnG
JohnG's picture

 

 

No problem.  I'll take a check, then order some gold.  That will just sit in a box in the safe, and I can always get another safe if I need too.

Sure would like to need another safe though.

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:01 | 3116404 CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

Such is always the case when government subsidizes industry. Here's another story about trains from 150 years ago which shows the difference between government subsidized industry and real entrepreneurs like J.J. Hill who was the model for Nat Taggart in Rand's Atlas Shrugged.

 

By the summer of 1861, after the Battle of First Manassas, it was apparent to all that the War Between the States was going to be a long drawn-out campaign. Nevertheless, in 1862 Congress, with the southern Democrats gone, diverted millions of dollars from the war effort to begin building a subsidized railroad. The Pacific Railroad Act of 1862 created the Union Pacific (UP) and the Central Pacific (CP) railroads, the latter to commence building in Sacramento, California, and the former in Omaha, Nebraska. For each mile of track built Congress gave these companies a section of land — most of which would be sold — as well as a sizable loan: $16,000 per mile for track built on flat prairie land; $32,000 for hilly terrain; and $48,000 in the mountains. As was the case with Jay Cooke's Northern Pacific, these railroads tried to build as quickly and as cheaply as possible in order to take advantage of the governmental largesse.

 


Where James J. Hill would be obsessed with finding the shortest route for his railroad, these government-subsidized companies, knowing they were paid by the mile, "sometimes built winding, circuitous roads to collect for more mileage," as Burton Folsom recounts. Union Pacific vice president and general manager Thomas Durant "stressed speed, not workmanship," writes Folsom, which meant that he and his chief engineer, former Union Army general Grenville Dodge, often used whatever kind of wood was available for railroad ties, including fragile cottonwood. This, of course, is in stark contrast to James J. Hill's insistence on using only the best-quality materials, even if they were more expensive. Durant paid so many lumberjacks to cut trees for rails that farmers were forced to use rifles to defend their land from the subsidized railroad builders; not for him was the Hill motto, "We have got to prosper with you or we have got to be poor with you."

 

http://mises.org/daily/2317

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:13 | 3116482 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

Yeah, but at least they had a railroad when they were done!  OK, not a very good one, but something that could potentially be productive in the future.  Shipping the same containers back and forth 24 times you end up with nothing to show for it, production-wise, 23 of those times.

Now, if we could build a railroad whose layout zig-zags back and forth 24 times across the border before arriving at it's final destination that would be OK.  Much more productive.  Then everyone wins.

 

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:14 | 3116498 Leopold B. Scotch
Leopold B. Scotch's picture

According to the Krugmeister's calculations, this is all good. Stop your bellyaching.

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 19:26 | 3116771 Bunga Bunga
Bunga Bunga's picture

The Krug should propose EPA for the nobel prize in economics.

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:16 | 3116504 CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

 

 

 

Once I built a railroad, I made it run, made it race against time.
Once I built a railroad; now it's done. Brother, can you spare a dime?
Wed, 01/02/2013 - 19:17 | 3116748 JohnG
JohnG's picture

 

 

Simon Black would love it.

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:19 | 3116517 TahoeBilly2012
TahoeBilly2012's picture

Yea, but now those "windy" sections are great touring spectacles ;)

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 20:06 | 3116914 Uber Vandal
Uber Vandal's picture

Though James J Hill has been immortalized as being "The Empire Builder", keep in mind he was in the company of some great friends, such as E H Harriman, J P Morgan, and J D Rockefeller.

With the backing of the above people, the Northern Securites Company was created in 1901.

That company controlled the Great Northern Ry, Northern Pacific Ry, and the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy RR (AKA Burlington Route).

What is interesting about this, is the supreme court dissolved the Northern Securites Co with an anti-trust suit in 1904.

Also of note, broken up in 1904 was the Union Pacific and Southern Pacific Railroad holdings of E H Harriman.

Most likely, one is wondering just what does any of this have to do with anything?

A great question.

in 1970, a mere 66 years after the antitrust lawsuit, the Great Northern, Northern Pacific, and Burlington Route mergerd to form the Burlington Northern Railroad.

In 1995, the Burlington Northern merged with the Santa Fe Railroad to form the current Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway, or BNSF.

Finally, in 2010, "Uncle Warren" added this railroad to his holdings of Berkshire, Hathaway.

Another note about the BNSF, in 1999, it has intended to merge with the Canadian National which the article mentioned was the line that this train operated on, and I would not be surprised if the biofuel cars originated from the BNSF.

Finally, about the Union Pacific and Southern Pacific... The two railroads involved in the building of the Union Pacific were the Union Pacific and Central Pacific.

The Southern Pacific leased the Central Pacific in 1885 and officially merged it into its system in 1959. Then, in 1996, the Union Paicific merged with the Southern Pacific.

Thus, the systems that these men wanted, ultimately happened, only it took place decades later.

 

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 21:15 | 3117131 CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

Thank goodness the government busts the trusts so that folks can pay higher prices!

 

Recognizing a market in the American Midwest for timber from the Northwest, Hill convinced his next-door neighbor, Frederick Weyerhauser, to get into the timber business with him. He cut his freight charges from ninety to forty cents per hundred pounds, and he and Weyerhauser prospered by selling Northwest timber to other parts of the country.[20]

 

Despite the quality services and reduced costs that Hill brought to Americans, he would be unfairly lumped in with the political entrepreneurs who were fleecing the taxpayers and consumers. The public eventually began complaining of the monopoly pricing and corruption that were inherent features of the government-created and -subsidized railroads.

 

The federal government responded to the complaints with the Interstate Commerce Act of 1887, which was supposed to ban rail rate discrimination, and later with the Hepburn Act of 1906 which made it illegal to charge different rates to different customers. What these two federal laws did was to outlaw Hill's price cutting by forcing railroads to charge everyone the same high rates.[21] This was all done in the name of consumer protection, giving it an Orwellian aura.

 

This new round of government regulation benefited the government-subsidized railroads at Hill's expense, for he was the most vigorous price cutter. His trade to the Orient was severely damaged since he could no longer legally offer discounts on exports in order to induce American exporters to join with him in entering as foreign markets. He eventually got out of the steamship business altogether, and as a result untold opportunities to export American products abroad were lost forever.

 

http://mises.org/daily/2317/

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 21:13 | 3117125 max2205
max2205's picture

I am glad an agency other than the sec will get right on this.....right?

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 07:21 | 3121423 S.N.A.F.U.
S.N.A.F.U.'s picture

.

sometimes built winding, circuitous roads to collect for more mileage," as Burton Folsom recounts. Union Pacific vice president and general manager Thomas Durant "stressed speed, not workmanship

Cool.  I didn't know that the Hell on Wheels character http://www.amctv.com/shows/hell-on-wheels/cast/thomas-durant who builds circuitous rail-roads to collect government dough in the show was based on a real person of the same name who did that very thing.  (And here I thought they were creatively showing off how stupid laws lead to unintended consequences when all they were really doing was reading their history books.)

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:18 | 3116509 Ignatius
Ignatius's picture

A reasonable and honest tax code could be written on three sheets of 8 1/2 x 11 paper.  Instead we have some 74,000 pages of THIS shit.  Congress in session is the problem. They fix nothing, but put 'the fix' in everything.

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:42 | 3116580 CH1
CH1's picture

They fix nothing, but put 'the fix' in everything.

Yes, that's what rulers do. Always.

You cannot give one group of men the power to tax and punish everyone else, and have it turn out well.

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 19:57 | 3116884 grid-b-gone
grid-b-gone's picture

They managed to pass a $700 billion bailout bill from three 8-1/2 X 11 sheets. It seems they can conjure up the magic only with outside help. 

 

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:18 | 3116510 Dingleberry
Dingleberry's picture

Reminds me of those reverse energy trades that Enron used to do, and the HFT boys still do on Wall street.

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 20:40 | 3117015 Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill's picture

More like the scams the Russian mafia was pulling on the EC agricultural export  subsidys.

That grain was exported,re imported,exported etc in a pertetual motion machine.

Thu, 01/03/2013 - 04:35 | 3117969 IBelieveInMagic
IBelieveInMagic's picture

So did Enron with energy trading. The best cons are the ones which have already been tried. 

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 19:08 | 3116700 Grinder74
Grinder74's picture

All I want to know is if I can do this with my car and driving back and forth a bunch of times.

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 21:21 | 3117159 espirit
espirit's picture

Methane can be considered a fuel.  Eat moar beans.

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 19:28 | 3116779 myptofvu
myptofvu's picture

Brilliant...they just figured out how to save Amtrak

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 17:51 | 3116366 Mad Mohel
Mad Mohel's picture

Biofuel? You mean like shit?

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:11 | 3116481 Spider
Spider's picture

Oh I thought it was a bunch of bankers.  Wait - is that what you mean?

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:33 | 3116516 Mad Mohel
Mad Mohel's picture

Train full of shit, not much fun unloading. Train full of bankers, there would be a run on pitchforks.

 

OK and a quick joke. What's the difference between a banker and a bag of shit.

The bag'o'shit only stinks when you open it.

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:18 | 3116507 odatruf
odatruf's picture

Not shit; energy!!

 

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:20 | 3116524 Mad Mohel
Mad Mohel's picture

Ok hows about I unload my "energy" on your porch and see how much you and the Mrs. enjoy it.

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 19:07 | 3116692 Grinder74
Grinder74's picture

I think the Mrs. is one of those that needs you to unload directly on her.

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 22:24 | 3117346 yabyum
yabyum's picture

odatruf is master blaster!!!!

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:22 | 3116532 tickhound
tickhound's picture

So the next logical question would be who insures this shit? 

And is the area generally a good place to storm chase?

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 17:51 | 3116367 Spider
Spider's picture

WAY TO GO!  I love companies taking advantage of stupid government loopholes!

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 17:57 | 3116388 otto skorzeny
otto skorzeny's picture

and then you wonder why your fucking taxes go up nitwit-although by your thought process you are "Obama Phone Eligible" and thus do not pay taxes.

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 17:59 | 3116414 Spider
Spider's picture

Oh my belief that the tax code can be reformed died along time ago - so wake up! 

The system is collapsing so you better get as much of these tax credits as you can before it all collapses ...

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:04 | 3116435 otto skorzeny
otto skorzeny's picture

The 47% speaks once again-the morality of "I'm gonna git mine" rears its ugly head-and then as it permeates from top to bottom is when we enter a death spiral.

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:09 | 3116471 Spider
Spider's picture

Hate to break it to you but we're already in that death spiral.  The more "git mines" the faster the system goes.  And good riddance!

Yeah and if Obama gave me a phone - I would take it...

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:20 | 3116518 odatruf
odatruf's picture

I don't think I would take the phone. After the collapse, I am much more likely to lend a hand to someone who didn't do this shit than anyone who did. And I'd expect the same.

Maybe I'll reconsider when it turns out most everyone I know has an oPhone. :/

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:28 | 3116548 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

"Don't hate the player, hate the game."

I find it absurd that someone would criticize Verdero for scamming a criminal cartel rather than criticizing the criminals who created the scam (all under the guise of "public service").

I don't like getting ripped off for "legitimate" government expenditures. But blaming others for getting in on the scam (thereby reducing their own exposure to its losses)???

Well, I guess that only makes sense to voters, and other sociopaths who believe social harmony is best achieved via centralized violence.

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:54 | 3116637 forwardho
forwardho's picture

A+

You know, You absolutly know, That some Gov't shitheel is getting a big fat chunk of green for wording that loophole in that manner.

Do not try this yourself, you will be financially drawn and quartered.

They don't even care if they are seen. Much like the old soviet politburo.

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:37 | 3116514 CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

 

 

The 47% speaks once again-the morality of "I'm gonna git mine" rears its ugly head

 

Everybody in the green economy got Obamaphone. That was one of the selling points of hope, change and forward.

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 19:25 | 3116742 Dugald
Dugald's picture

Why not call it the way it is....fucking crooked, just Americans being Americans.....Crooked from top to bottom, and still you wonder why you are in the mess you are....It's a mind set that can never change, because, you are, Americans

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 17:52 | 3116374 surf0766
surf0766's picture

We need more green energy tax credits

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 17:52 | 3116375 TheDarkKnight
TheDarkKnight's picture

Great end of the day laugh right there

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 17:52 | 3116377 Chuck Norris
Chuck Norris's picture

Digging a hole and filling it up.

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:01 | 3116424 Ancona
Ancona's picture

"Luke, what is Boss Keene's dirt doing in  my ditch"?

"I don't know Boss".

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 17:53 | 3116379 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

Here is my bold prediction. No one goes to jail. Everyone keeps their money. I know I'm crazy.

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 17:58 | 3116409 HD
HD's picture

That's not entirely true - whistle blowers will undoubtedly be prosecuted for something...

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:04 | 3116436 CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

How you gonna run a train without a whistleblower? Imagine the carnage.

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:06 | 3116452 a growing concern
a growing concern's picture

Whistleblowers will have mysterious hot tub drug overdoses.

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:06 | 3116448 JayKitsap
JayKitsap's picture

Here is my bold prediction. No one goes to jail. Everyone keeps their money. I know I'm crazy.

Surely there will be a Nobel Science (or Peace) Prize for this endeavor.

'We created 24 train crossings of Bio Fuel greatly multiplying the energy used to make one trainload."  It is akin to Perpetual Emotion"

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:10 | 3116479 Al Huxley
Al Huxley's picture

Also, the sun will rise in the East tomorrow, and water will continue to be wet.

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 17:54 | 3116380 Jethro
Jethro's picture

Dayum.....HAHAHAHAHAHA.  Forward!  Then.....backward (x 23)....

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 17:54 | 3116381 Irelevant
Irelevant's picture

FORWARD!

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:23 | 3116536 dexter_morgan
dexter_morgan's picture

si se puede Mr. F.M.D., jr

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 17:54 | 3116392 HD
HD's picture

ONLY 24 times? Lazy bastards.  No one wants to work for their ill-gotten gains anymore...

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:29 | 3116555 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Union overhead.

Thu, 01/03/2013 - 00:23 | 3117668 logically possible
logically possible's picture

That is 24 times for the one they caught.

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 17:56 | 3116398 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

I was just wondering... does any fart that crosses the border with America gets money?

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 17:57 | 3116406 TerminalDebt
TerminalDebt's picture

Government at work

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 17:58 | 3116408 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

Tragicomical.

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 17:59 | 3116411 Dr.Evil
Dr.Evil's picture

I vould laugh if it would not be so sad! Imagine all the fuel burned for nothing!

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:12 | 3116469 CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

It wasn't burned for nothing it was burned for profit. That's one of the unintended consequences of a bloated regulatory and tax code which is used not only to obtain funds from taxpayers but also as a carrot or stick to control behavior. In other words, central planners have no idea what they're doing (except accruing power and profits unto themselves) and never did.

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:30 | 3116559 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Don't worry, more regulations will fix everything!

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:00 | 3116416 pain_and_soros
pain_and_soros's picture

Down around the corner
A half a mile from here
You see them old trains runnin'
And you watch them disappear
Without law
Where would you be now
Without law


You know I saw Miss Lucy
Down along the tracks
She lost her home and her family
And she won't be comin' back
Without law
Where would you be now
Without law

Well the Illinois Central
And the Southern Central Freight
Gotta keep on pushin' Mama
'Cause you know they're runnin' late
Without law
Where would you be now - now, now, now
Without law

Where pistons keep on churnin'
And the wheels go 'round and 'round
And the steel rails are cold and hard
For the miles that they go down
Without law
Where would you be right now
Without law
Where would you be now

 

with apologies to Tom Johnston for taking literary licence...

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:00 | 3116417 Rainman
Rainman's picture

Another 'Let's Pretend' green energy program...this is bad...I'm not even shocked anymore

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:01 | 3116419 yrbmegr
yrbmegr's picture

Fraud, anyone?

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:32 | 3116565 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

You're asking that as if it was a question of anything other than how much one spends on lawyers.

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:05 | 3116441 tnquake
tnquake's picture

Was Al Gore driving the train? He's probably looking for a new gig.

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:04 | 3116442 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

The malignant spirit of Enron lives on.

Somewhere in a colder depth of hell Kenneth Lay must be pissing himself laughing.

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:16 | 3116501 ziggy59
ziggy59's picture

Or a warm carribean beach somewhere ....

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:20 | 3116520 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

I was almost going to go with that, but then I thought "in hell laughing at us" was more poetic.

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:43 | 3116597 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Would've also accepted "slightly less depressing."

Then again, I can't imagine Colin Powell's trip to CO that night was an effort to deliver last rites to Lay.

As a non-club member, he must've been one hell of a self-propelled tool to rate that treatement. Or had a big enough stash to buy his way in.

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:05 | 3116445 Schmuck Raker
Schmuck Raker's picture

Wait, wha..?!?

What happened to the chicken?

I don't get your humor sometimes, Tyler.

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:06 | 3116453 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Old news...

And another stunning example of the wholely fucked US energy policy....

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:14 | 3116494 CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

Yep. The "green" agenda is a scam. Who woulda thunk it?

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:22 | 3116526 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

Or maybe everyone in the energy business just fronts for the Mafia.

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:36 | 3116574 CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

Luca Brasi recycles with the fishes.

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 20:45 | 3117032 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

There are cons and shills everywhere... did you think otherwise...

BTW, bio-fuels are only green in some Madison Avenue alternate reality paid for by vested interests...

Then again you do get confused by labels... 

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 21:19 | 3117150 CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

I understood it when James Lovelock labelled global warming fears as being "alarmist." You still can't comprehend that fact despite your designation of Lovelock as a white wizard of the modern age. Go figure.

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:07 | 3116458 Bastiat009
Bastiat009's picture

Digging a hole, filling up the hole, digging a hole, filling ... well, you get it, don't you? And you voted for a lot more of this.

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:08 | 3116462 Dre4dwolf
Dre4dwolf's picture

God-Fucking Damnit, someone get the government away from the regulation button, pretty soon we will all have to walk back and forth in and out of McDonalds to buy a Big-Mac "for Free"in a way that somehow makes Money.

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:12 | 3116489 Jethro
Jethro's picture

I know I shouldn't write this down for fear that Paul Krugman will be further enabled, but you just put everybody in a circle and hand the Big-Mac from person to person around the circle, and everybody pays person selling the Big-Mac each time it trades hands.  Full employment and money velocity!  Now, when do I get my Nobel Prize for economics???

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:18 | 3116512 Dre4dwolf
Dre4dwolf's picture

Fucking Brilliant, and somehow through Kenesian Economics Jesus will come down and through derivatives "multiply" the Big Mac , we could also solve world hunger!

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:43 | 3116596 tenpanhandle
tenpanhandle's picture

And while I listen to Jimmy Buffet sing "Hamburger in Paradise" I imagine I hear Warren Buffet, who owns the trains, say thankyou O; may I have another.

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 19:45 | 3116831 PeaceLover
PeaceLover's picture

yep keep praying

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:29 | 3116557 adr
adr's picture

I told my wife that is how business works.

If I hand you $10, and you hand the $10 to your dad, and he hands me back the $10, we just did $30 worth of business. So we can book $30 in revenue.

She said: but you just got back your $10, nothing happened and you didn't buy anything.

I said: exactly, you don't understand business.

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:50 | 3116631 ekm
ekm's picture

Hilarious

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 19:26 | 3116774 SokPOTUS
SokPOTUS's picture

Yes; and .gov wants $3.40 from each of you in taxes; that's $10.20 total.  Better start searching the couch cushions...

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 20:12 | 3116931 combatsnoopy
combatsnoopy's picture

Krugman is the big Laffer wannabe.  Laffer got LUCKY with Reagan's tax breaks.   LUCKY.  Bushie's tax breaks won't serve him well, I wonder if he got the memo.

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:12 | 3116476 Martel
Martel's picture

Sounds like the Soviet Union, where a picture frame maker met its annual quota (measured in weight) by manufacturing its frames from as heavy material as possible. Everybody's happy with their lead frames, for as long as the quota is being met.

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:13 | 3116486 jonan
jonan's picture

shit-express to riches bitchez!

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:14 | 3116492 ziggy59
ziggy59's picture

What laws WERENT broken here?
And the peons keep getting peed-on...

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:15 | 3116496 dexter_morgan
dexter_morgan's picture

Our beloved gubmit working over-time to micro-manage every aspect of our lives. For fucks sake.

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:17 | 3116505 worbsid
worbsid's picture

Shocked, simply shocked ...

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:18 | 3116508 Dr. No
Dr. No's picture

"Yeah, we can't actually find a record of him unloading the train"
"I looked into it more deeply and I found that apparently what happened is that we implemented this rule five years ago and no one ever told told us about it; but through some kind of glitch in the payroll department, the company still gets a paycheck."

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:21 | 3116523 EvlTheCat
EvlTheCat's picture

This could have all been avoided if the shipping directions were in French.

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:24 | 3116537 Archetype
Archetype's picture

Its just like when greece applied for agricultural subsidies for olive tre plantations, the area in question was larger than the entire country... Of course they got the money without questions asked.

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:24 | 3116538 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

Next up: And on inspection the rail cars contained no actual biodiesel or anything like it.

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:26 | 3116540 adr
adr's picture

Wow, they turned a train into a model of Goldman Sachs.

Traincars working like stock trades scraping a couple dollars in fees for each one.

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:26 | 3116542 Wipewithpaper
Wipewithpaper's picture

Berkshire owns trains, if anyone knows the loopholes the Old Man does and i am sure uses them.

 

 

 

 

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:27 | 3116545 Pairadimes
Pairadimes's picture

Keynesian autoerotic asphyxiation, brought to you by the Economy Prevention Agency.

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 19:22 | 3116554 falak pema
falak pema's picture

when boot leggers  and corporates do it on their own, without government subsidies, its all fair and square as its "private enterprise". Never mind the fact they break the rules.

But when corporates trick the government rules we blame government. 

The issue is the same : blame those who bend the rules, before you blame those who make the rules. 

Do we believe in rules in society is the real question. Or is "private enterprise" beyond the rule of law 'cos its "private"?

Some rules are dumb and should be revoked by popular pressure and subsequent legislation. But that requires two things :

1° People who care and push their agenda to their elected in significant numbers.

2° The elected who act like truly elected; not like truly corrupted.

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 21:11 | 3117116 Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill's picture

Have far more respect for a successful crook than any government.

Its just business but harder.Unless of course your connected to Govt. instead of

evading it.

Sure it was one of Uncle Warren;s trains getting at the very  least the freight charges,

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:31 | 3116556 TruthBeforeAll
Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:32 | 3116562 401-Kulak
Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:36 | 3116573 El Hosel
El Hosel's picture

Why did the chicken cross the road?... He got paid for it.

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:36 | 3116571 laomei
laomei's picture

Seeing as this is more or less all that the financial industry does with moving money around, it's not really all that shocking.  A great summary of what drives the US GDP.

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:46 | 3116614 Racer
Racer's picture

Yes, just a larger scaled version of HFTs  getting penny rebates for providing liquidity

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 20:30 | 3116988 laomei
laomei's picture

What would prevent the following:

You have $100,000 in cash that needs investing, say, from an inheritance but are otherwise poor as all fuck.  Alternatively, you live overseas and can skirt US reporting.

You start a 501c3.

Each year you give out cash gifts of $5,000 each to 20 fellow collaborators who are in the 28% tax bracket.  This falls below reporting and is untraceable.

The collaborator then donates your gift to your charity in their own name, taking the tax write-off of $1400

Half of the savings of the tax write-off ($700) is given to you personally as a cash gift at the same time as your own gift to them.  Also exempt from any reporting.

You are taking a $1 token salary from the 501 and being certified as full-time.

The remaining revenue is funneled out through spending as grants to a foreign charity organization which you fully control in country that's more lax and the cash goes straight into your own offshore high-interest account earning a solid 5% just sitting there.

After 10 years, any federal student loan debt is forgiven.

You have a slight overhead for admin and the overseas shuffle, but it's all really just a one-man show.

Congrats, you are earning an extra 14% profit while your collaborators are seeing a free $700 a year.  If you are living overseas, this is probably more than enough to live off of if you really want to.

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:37 | 3116579 Crash2012
Crash2012's picture

Good thing the bill passed at 2 am by the US Senate EXTENDED this CRITICAL program!

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 19:04 | 3116682 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

Yeah that sort of thing sucks. And it's useless too.

I can think of useful things they could sneak in. Why can't they pass a bill at 2AM that legalizes growing and consumption of mary-J up to one dry ton per household per year? That would be cool. And would reduce tensions. Everyone gets mellow. You can easily have 300 million guns in a county that mellow. But they would have to bring back Twinkies for sure.

Oh or how about this: Legalize all prostitution. Everywhere. Congress prostitutes itself everyday in public on camera, any willing woman should be given the same opportunity. That's all GDP++ and shit too. Everybody wins. And some of those girls are single moms so they could put some more grits on the table and buy their kids new shoes. So it's like a motherhood issue, dawgs.

I can see I'm good at this. Imma run for Congress on the "2AM is dat shit fo shizzle" platform. Our caucus, we start toking at noon, then we send the hos out for Chinese take-out at 8PM, and after 5 rounds of beers and some humpty-hump we do all the real work between midnight and 2AM before we pass out on the Capitol steps covered in vomit.

What's wrong with that? You tell me any part of that is wrong or out of alignment with how Congress does things.

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 20:24 | 3116970 Clycntct
Clycntct's picture

"You tell me any part of that is wrong or out of alignment with how Congress does things."
We smile at yours but not so much at congress.

Thu, 01/03/2013 - 00:16 | 3117654 hawk nation
hawk nation's picture

At first i thought you were running on obamas agenda. Problem is the media wont report if he does in fact do this

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:39 | 3116581 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

we need a LAW against this ........

 

/SARC

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:44 | 3116602 uncle reggie
uncle reggie's picture

We suggest this is merely yet another unintended consequence (just as we noted here) and perverted incentive of central planning and an all encroaching government.

Really, an all encroaching government? You never take the next, and most important, step when you rant about government. The problem with government is the simple fact that it has been in the back pocket of Corporate Amerika for a long time. Just blaming the "government" plays right into the Corporate master's plans, or is that your intention? 

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:45 | 3116607 tenpanhandle
tenpanhandle's picture

Just another ride on the Disorient Express.

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:46 | 3116610 stormsailor
stormsailor's picture

i bet it's legal.   we need to start executions.  not with laws, and arrest, and court or "regulatory agencies" none of that hand slap tiny fine crap.  just one in the back of the head.  i bet the libs would go batshit for gun control if the 1% turned into say  .01 %

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:50 | 3116628 americanspirit
americanspirit's picture

Not much difference between this scam and the kinds of scams that the rich use every day to hide their money from the tax-man. Whether the loopholes are put there intentionally or are simply left open by ignorant regulation-writing, somebody is going to find them and use them. It's as if you built a prison (kinda like the US tax system) and accidentally left the bars off of one window in a little obscure room where nobody is ever supposed to go. How long do you suppose it would be before the first prisoner went through that window. And if the guards didn't find the window and put bars on it right away, do you think the first escape would be the last? I think we would be talking about an empty prison pretty damn quick.

 

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 18:55 | 3116642 Herkimer Jerkimer
Herkimer Jerkimer's picture

In 1976, Montreal, building the Olympics, it was later, well documented and publicized, that the concrete companies were being paid by having someone checking off that the trucks entered and exited the building. NOT, that they unloaded their concrete.

The trucks were empty.

The mob made millions.  http://matdl.org/failurecases/Other_Failure_Cases/Montreal_Olympics (It's not well documented.)

OJO

V-V

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 19:09 | 3116709 booboo
booboo's picture

Just another Obama Wan Nairobi mind trick as he fiddles while we burn, god damn if he don't put the G in Nero no one does.

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 23:34 | 3117531 ejhickey
ejhickey's picture

that is so good ,  I am going to steal it.

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 19:16 | 3116739 DavosSherman
DavosSherman's picture

into the possibility of fraud

Possibility.

No wonder why NO banksters are in jail today.  What clueless fucking morons!

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 19:47 | 3116842 booboo
booboo's picture

Well to be honest it probably was legal. One thing people need to understand, the laws are a tool that enforces "legal" plunder. Once you are comfortable with any form of taxation you really have no moral footing to cast stones at just another form of plunder. Forced philanthropy is still by force. These types of stories will become more frequent as the system collapses inward. Therein lies the reason for the stripping your ability to defend your property and finally your person with a firearm. Forced plunder always ends in the killing of the citizens as they will by nature fight for their right of life.

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 19:43 | 3116824 H E D G E H O G
H E D G E H O G's picture

at least bring some of that good Canadian weed on the return trip! wtf..........................

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 19:44 | 3116826 H E D G E H O G
H E D G E H O G's picture

AND, Warren Buffett owns the train!

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