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A federal prosecutor said Thursday that the government has recovered only a third of the $9 million that authorities charge a Perry Hall businessman with taking from his customers in a massive biofuel fraud scheme.

Hailey, 33, was charged last week with wire fraud, money laundering and violating the federal Clean Air Act in what could be the beginning of a government crackdown on abuse and fraud in the lucrative trading of renewable fuel credits. Oil companies are required by federal law to either produce a certain quantity of renewable fuels or buy credits to satisfy their quotas.

Authorities charge that Hailey generated more than 21 million gallons’ worth of “renewable identification numbers,” or RINs, for biodiesel, but produced no actual fuel from used restaurant cooking oil, as he claimed. Investigators contend that he spent millions from the sale of bogus credits on a five-bedroom house, a fleet of luxury cars and trucks, and diamond jewelry. If convicted on all three charges, Hailey could receive a combined maximum sentence of 32 years in prison and $750,000 in fines.

I have a feeling we’re going to see a lot more of this kind of thing.

Sigh.

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From Ann:

You know, when you’re calling somebody “a flat-out moron,” you’d better be sure you’re not missing something. It’s extremely common to portray environmentalism, as practiced in present-day America, as the equivalent of a religion. Just the other day, for example, I wrote: “enviromentalism is the religion taught in public schools, and it’s the kind of religion done with shaming young people.” Here’s a World Net Daily article from back in 2008 called “The Climate Change Religion.” The Freakonomics blog had an item in 2009: “Is Climate-Change Belief a Religion?”(“Actually, yes…”). Here’s a piece in Forbes from last April: “Climate Change As Religion: The Gospel According To Gore.”

In this context, Perry’s invocation of Galileo makes perfect sense, and if anybody’s a flat-out moron here, it’s Fallows.

UPDATE:  “On reflection, and in response to a torrent of near- identically phrased outraged mail”, Fallows apologizes:

I shouldn’t have called Gov. Rick Perry’s reference to Galileo during this week’s Republican debate “flat-out moronic.” That’s mean talk that I shouldn’t use about anyone, and I’m sorry.

Well okay, then.  He continues:

I should just have said that his comment seemed ill-thought-out, weird, and self-defeating, for exactly the reasons I set out the first time through.

Now it becomes less of an apology, as Fallows unwittingly describes his own attempt to further explain his still-flawed original argument.

Althouse responds:

Not much of a backtrack. I don’t know if I’m responsible for any or much of his “outraged mail,” but if you feel like going over there now and telling him off, please word your email in a manner that displays the unique person that is you.

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