ConsumerWatchdog goes after "Hot Fuel Rip-off" and "Big Oil U"

It's not like the temperature of gas in the filling station - and wasting money there - is a new point of contention. AutoblogGreen wrote about the issue when we got started last spring, but the topic is perennial. Here we go again.

The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights representatives are making the rounds in the press (see here and here for examples) with the story on the "Hot Fuel Rip-off." From the group's website:

When the temperature of gasoline rises above 60 degrees, gasoline expands but California pumps don't account for the bigger volume and consumers receive less gasoline than they should. California regulators have certified a temperature adjusted pump, but the oil industry is working hard to prevent its sale.

For some information not linked directly to the FTCR, here's what a Representative in Texas announced last December.

"The energy production of a gallon of gasoline at the 60 degree government standard, nothing less" Solomons stated. He went further to suggest that gasoline marketers know exactly the advantage of temperature adjusted gasoline, since it has been required for wholesale transactions in Texas since the 1940s. "If it's good for the gasoline companies, then it should be good for the consumers. There should not be two standards!"

I'm particularly unimpressed with the argument that Dan Gilligan, president of the Petroleum Marketers Association of America, gave the San Francisco Chronicle against the new pumps. He said that not only would converting all the country's pumps cost $2-$3 billion, but that introducing them a few at a time would confuse consumers.

Please. How, exactly? If the pumps work as advertised, each station that installs the new pumps puts up a sign, "get more for your money here." Consumers aren't confused by saving money.

The other of The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights' top stories right now is on stopping "Big Oil U." Their take:

Two of the world's largest oil companies are planting their flag in two of America's top universities in order to wash some dirty laundry. The terms of the two separate deals, between Stanford and Exxon, and University of California Berkeley and BP, threaten to turn the San Francisco Bay Area into "Big Oil U."

[Source: Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, San Francisco Chronicle]

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