Hot fuel on agenda at national conference

| 7/9/2007

One of the highlighted topics at this week’s meeting of the National Conference on Weights and Measures in Salt Lake City is the issue of automatic temperature compensation at retail fuel pumps.

Temperature compensation appears on the agenda for Tuesday, July 10, as part of a technical session from 8 a.m. to noon. The session includes a presentation by Ross Anderson, director of the New York Bureau of Weights and Measures.

If all retail pumps contained temperature-compensation equipment, there would be no issue with “hot fuel” or the alleged consumer rip-off that many consumers believe happens during temperature expansion when fuel is sold warmer than 60 degrees.

While not a voting member of the conference, OOIDA Foundation Project Leader John Siebert is in attendance to ask and answer questions about thermal expansion of fuel and the effect it has on consumer pocketbooks.

A recent study by the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform’s Subcommittee on Domestic Policy stated that hot fuel – gasoline or diesel sold above a national standard of 60 degrees – could cost consumers $1.5 billion this summer alone.

The voting members of the conference will review information and studies before entering the voting sessions Wednesday or Thursday. Those sessions will determine whether the conference will create a model for states to begin the process of requiring automatic temperature-compensation equipment.

Conference attendees will hear about data collected from 2004 to 2006 in Nebraska, where fuel temperatures varied.

“This effort provides unique and valuable data on the performance of retail fuel dispensers,” Weights and Measures officials stated on the agenda.

– By David Tanner, staff writer