Alcohol Fuel Questions and Answers

In 1980 MOTHER EARTH NEWS spoke with Mr. Dee L. Flynn, then Southeast Regional Regulatory Administrator for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, about regulations governing alcohol fuel production by individuals.

| September/October 1980

Not long ago MOTHER EARTH NEWS asked the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms Southeast Regional Regulatory Administrator, Mr. Dee L. Flynn, if he would be willing to speak candidly with us on the subject of alcohol fuel ... to detail just what the federal government expects of people, tell us how individuals might best meet the needs of his agency, and reveal the planned regulation changes that should make things easier on the "little guy." We think you'll find the exchange both interesting and informative.  

MOTHER: We knew, when we published our interview with Lance Crombie, that an experimental distilled spirits permit could allow a fuel "brewer" to take advantage of a little-known loophole in the federal laws governing alcoholic beverage production. Could you tell us approximately how many experimental permits have been issued nationally to date?

FLYNN: Our records indicate that 3,657 two-year experimental distilled spirits permits have been issued.

MOTHER: Can an experimental permit be renewed, after two years, in the name of the party that previously held it?

FLYNN: Currently qualified experimental distilled spirits permits may be renewed only if the holder gives good cause... demonstrating that he or she is indeed engaged in the operations specified and is authorized by law to do so. However, as a result of the Crude Oil Windfall Profits Tax Act passed this year, a new category has been established in addition to the experimental status. It's been set up specifically for alcohol fuel producers, and—as of July 1, 1980—anyone applying for an experimental permit with the intent to make ethanol fuel is automatically considered for an "alcohol fuel producers permit."

MOTHER: Can you describe the individual's responsibility in obtaining bonding?

Bill Foulds
7/11/2008 6:31:48 PM

Could you tell me what happens to the left over, used corn mash?

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