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How Government Ruined The Gas Can

by Jerry Bader

I'll confess, I knew nothing about this, but I was on the verge of replacing my old gas can when I received this email from a friend:


I thought of you and the show yesterday. Have you needed to purchase a plastic gas can recently? OMG! Talk about Big Brother and the EPA solving a problem that didn’t exist. This might be worth a little research time on your part. What I ran into yesterday when purchasing one is at the very top of the list of stupid government intervention. It seems that you can no longer purchase a “regular” good old fashioned gas can that has a flexible plastic spout that you just pour gas out of. Now they have special pressure activated valves and the spouts are designed so that it is a two step (at a minimum) process to depress or turn a release lever and then insert the spout into the gas tank and push the spout against the can to get the valve to release! I was thinking about older people, hand strength, complexity of operation, etc. as I was looking at them. In addition to that it seems that the prices are at least double what I ever remember them being. At Lowes a plain old red 2 gallon can was almost $17.00. At WalMart a different brand but same conceptual spout was $12.00. Apparently we have had a nationwide epidemic of people spontaneously bursting into flames while trying to use the old design. Possibly the release of gasoline vapors from old style cans has eroded the atmosphere to the point that the delicate skin covering Al Gore is burning at an unacceptable rate. Who knows, but rest easy knowing that the EPA is on the job and that we can never again fuel a lawnmower without a Masters Degree in Fluid Dynamics and Fluid Dispenser Engineering.

So I did a little digging.There's a pretty good explanation of the idiotic rule that led to this monstrosity here. How bad is this? There are actually instructional videos online how to make this piece of junk usable. Only in America would you have a video titled "How to Fix a New Gas Can."