Opinion: Why doesn’t the federal government work? Look no further than our gas can regulations

Photo/Luke Sharrett/The New York Times / A man fills up gasoline cans at a gas station in Conway, S.C., on Sept. 11, 2018. In 2020, a new law (the "Portable Fuel Container Safety Act of 2020") went into effect that requires portable gas containers, such as plastic gas cans, have special devices installed to prevent explosions from igniting inside them.

On Super Bowl Sunday, I borrowed my friend's car to run to the store before the real game of the day, the fighting Memphis Tigers' brunch basketball game against the Temple Owls. Temple was a dangerous sleeper team, and not just because it's Bill Cosby's alma mater.

In a hurry, I did not look at the gas gauge, and I ran out of gas. Running out of gas is not a problem for an attractive female, but for a bowlegged old man like me who is maybe a four in good lighting, folks just do not stop and help.

Having outrun my redneck roots, I have not run out of gas since Jimmy Carter was president. But as I was soon to find out, things have changed in the gas can business since then, all at the ham-handed hands of our federal government.

The car was stopped that morning in the "S curves" in Chattanooga near "Jesus Junction." This is the dangerous part of the road where many of the churches were just letting out. No one leaving church stopped to help me. I guess none of the churches was named "The Good Samaritan." Cars were buzzing by, and it was dangerous. The church people would not stop, and neither would the liberal hipster class (they may have recognized me).

For some reason, Chattanooga has an inordinate amount of Subaru cars, and many sport "Blue Grass Forever" stickers. I am not sure why; it was like that when I got here. So many Subarus were sold in Chattanooga over the last 10 years that the local dealer was awarded the job of mayor at a national sales convention.

Given that it was Chattanooga, a policeman stopped to help me. He could not have been nicer. In Atlanta, the cops are too busy not solving murders.

You always get what you want from local government. The thing I rail against is the burdensome federal government. To illustrate: Have you tried to use what used to be a simple product, the modern gas can? I had to go buy one and get gas. It was frustrating.

Gas cans used to work. They were simple. You put gas in, you put the spout into your gas tank, open the vent and pour. But no longer, not since the federal government got involved in regulating one of the most basic items in our lives, the plastic gas can. Now you need an engineering degree to work a gas can. And you not only spill more gas, you end up so frustrated it is not worth it.

So I looked into the situation for this column. It turns out that the EPA got the idea of screwing up the gas can from ... wait for it ... the People's Republic of California. California has been legislating and ruining our lives one simple consumer product at a time. Because the plastic gas can was such a bad idea in California, the EPA in Washington demanded it be nationwide.

California is so helplessly "woke" they view cemeteries as voter suppression.

California cannot even provide electricity. It has rolling blackouts. It stinks there. The difference between the Titanic and California? The Titanic went under with her lights on. With crushing regulations and taxes, California's homeless population menaces the cities. The state cannot control wildfires. It is so bad in California now that it seems God is trying to burn it to the ground for the insurance money.

Not knowing anything about a product has never been an impediment for government to monkey with it. And liberal Democrats love to control everything. Look no further than the new gas cans, which are unworkable. Now multiply that by all the things government touches.

If Moses came down the mountain today with the Ten Commandments, we would never know about half of them because they would be flagged by government and their tech oligarch henchmen for violating community standards.

Contact Ron Hart, a syndicated op-ed satirist, author and TV/radio commentator, at Ron@RonaldHart.com or @RonaldHart on Twitter.