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Man in Jail After Researching Fuel Cells at Home


jail_bars2Instead of focusing on state-of-the-art, smiling and richly-tied burglars, federal prosecutors in Sheridan, Oregon have convicted a man for something he did (or did not do) during his study of cleaner and cheaper fuel cells.

Krister Evertson, 54, is a passionate of science even since high school. He had no history of legal issues, but instead he is a charitable person: teaching sign language to deaf young people. When he was in the grade school, he won the Kailua Intermediate School science fair in Hawaii for research into making bio-chemical fuel cells using coconut juice (so Hawaiian, isn’t it?) He is described in federal court documents as a “good-natured, kind, gentle person.”

Evertson is now in jail, convicted to spend 21 months (almost 2 years!) for an “environmental crime” while researching to develop a mass-use fuel cell, that could have helped generating energy without pollution. He was convicted for allegedly violating some obscure regulations of the EPA by “abandoning” semi-hazardous waste. Actually, that wasted had been saved with great care, sealed and stored with a friend.

“This is how we reward innovators in America?” asked senior legal policy analyst Andrew Grossman of the Heritage Foundation, his inflection turning the statement into a question. “They wind up in jail?…. This isn’t the way regulation is supposed to work.”

It’s sad to hear inventors doing jail years for experimenting good stuff for the environment, by EPA’s rules. It’s also sad that the biggest oil-spillers that only care about their money and don’t give a dime about pollution, leaving it on the environmentalists’ shoulders, are walking freely and enjoying the last decades of the atmosphere they themselves destroy.

So, people, watch out carefully the next time you want to invent something for the environment, so you don’t offend EPA’s regulations, by wanting to pollute less than they allow.


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  1. This is a sticky wickett, or whatever the expression. People are afraid of large volumes of stored explosives in this post 9-11 environment. However, I read that it was stored in very very thick stainless steel and stored legally.
    The problem is that innovation is often crushed in America. There are stories of high mileage carb buyouts \\"or else\\". The microwave was invented here, supressed and then developed and sold out of factories in South Korea and such to willing American consumers. This is the problem: If you build an affordable fuel cell that would get the average American consumer off the main grid would you be killed, jailed, or bought out? The monopolies are in fact suppressing cures for diseases and energy answers by arresting and criminalizing inventors on occasion. Quality of life and standard of living are easily traded for Hell on Earth if we do not protest these kinds of goings on.

  2. Why is it easier to be made a felon by the federal government than to be fired by the federal government? Why was Mr. Evertson not given a warning and a chance to correct any problems? Why was the immediate reaction to make him a felon? I thought felon meant intentionally violating laws.

    If you read the entire case you will see that the materials were properly stored. They were not abandoned. You have explosive materials sitting in your driveway with just as many possible problems (think automobile and gasoline tank.) If properly stored this is not an issue. Yeah, yeah a kid could have shot it with a bb gun -just like a kid could shoot your gas tank or your rural country home propane tank.

    The point is he should have been given a chance to fix it. Why didn\’t an EPA guy just come over and tell him what needed to be done if there were any problems. By the way it turns out there weren\’t any. It all hinged on whether or not it was abandoned. The friend storing it didn\’t call the feds. They showed up and basically pulled the \"this is a felony offense, it\’s you or him going down\" attitude.

  3. Realistically I am glad that the EPA is taking action to prevent this inventor (even if his intentions were just carelessness) from transporting this hazardous material inconsistent with EPA guidelines. I hope he will continue to pursue his program, but with more appreciation for public safety in the future. We need more entrepreneurs like this gentleman, but MSDS must not be ignored in the processing of hazardous materials.

  4. Potential Health Effects

    Inhalation produces damaging effects on the mucous membranes and upper respiratory tract. Symptoms may include irritation of the nose and throat, and labored breathing. May cause lung edema, a medical emergency.
    Extremely dangerous, corrosive material. Will react immediately with saliva to cause serious burns and possible local combustion and even explosion of hydrogen in the mouth or esophagus. The metal’s low melting point can cause further complications.
    Skin Contact:
    Corrosive, can cause serious burns due to almost immediate reaction with water, especially on moist skin. If metal ignites, very deep burns and tissue destruction can occur.
    Eye Contact:
    Corrosive. May cause redness, pain, blurred vision, and damage from severe alkali burns.
    Chronic Exposure:
    Continued or repeated skin contact may cause dermatitis, mucous membrane irritation, and lung damage..
    Aggravation of Pre-existing Conditions:
    No information found.

  5. “DANGER! FLAMMABLE SOLID. CORROSIVE. WATER REACTIVE. CATCHES FIRE IF EXPOSED TO AIR. HARMFUL OR FATAL IF SWALLOWED. HARMFUL IF INHALED OR ABSORBED THROUGH SKIN. CONTACT MAY CAUSE BURNS TO ALL BODY TISSUE.” That is from the material data safety sheet for sodium metal, so yeah it is a tad more toxic than manure and coca-cola, both of which are bio-degradable.

  6. I looked up more info on this man and he was convicted for transporting and storing more that 10 metric TONS of sodium metal. He wasn’t a backyard or garage experimenter, he was owner of SBH Corp. and someone who should of known better. It’s not hard to take precautions and follow EPA guidelines.


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