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As Price of Grease Rises, Environmentalists Steal

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A converted biodiesel car | Photo by Jessica DeWinter

Oil's gone up in price, and therefore gas. Food has followed including the price of second hand grease from restaurants used for cars after its turned into biodiesel. Eataries used to have to pay to have their grease taken away, but due to the popularity of its use for greener transit, the price has more than quadrupled since 2000. Just like a new trendy crime of siphoning gas from SUVS, the New York Times reports that do-it-yourself environmentalists and other thieves are stealing the what-used-be-waste product in a crime of opportunity -- one Northern California man was caught trying to stealing 2,500 pounds of it.

The grease is traded on the booming commodities market. Its value has increased in recent months to historic highs, driven by the even higher prices of gas and ethanol, making it an ever more popular form of biodiesel to fuel cars and trucks. In 2000, yellow grease was trading for 7.6 cents per pound. On Thursday, its price was about 33 cents a pound, or almost $2.50 a gallon. (That would make the 2,500-gallon haul in the Burger King case worth more than $6,000.)

And as the price goes up on grease, so has the enforcement on taxing and licensing people who use the grease as fuel. Even Governor Schwarzenegger got busted for not following the backwards law.