OOIDA made major progress Wednesday in the ongoing battle
over "hot fuel."
At a meeting of the National Council of Weights and Measures
in Florida, members decided to vote this summer on an important recommendation
that could affect fuel retailers.
The proposal calls for providing retailers that want to
install temperature-compensation devices with guidelines and procedures that
would make the installation fair for consumers and sellers alike.
Under the proposal, it would be all or nothing for each
retailer - all pumps at any given retail location would have to be temperature-compensated
or all would not.
There is also a clause that says once turned on,
temperature-compensating devices cannot be turned off for 12 months. And, in
states that allow for voluntary temperature compensation, all stations would be
required to have signage explaining that the pumps are or are not temperature
OOIDA Foundation Project Leader John Siebert - who argued in
favor of temperature compensation at the meeting - told "Land Line Now" on XM
Satellite Radio that if the signs go up, consumers will have a clear choice.
"That will give the consumers a really good handle on who is
and who isn't, and if someone is, then they know they're going to be getting
the equivalent Btu on the same labeled product," Siebert said.
Based on Siebert's research, OOIDA has long held that hot -
or expanded - fuel delivers less energy than a gallon of fuel held at an
industry-standard 60 degrees, and therefore short-changes truckers and other
"If you're buying 87 octane, you ought to get the same bang
for your buck from anybody else's 87 octane," he said.
After The Kansas City
Star published a series of articles on hot fuel - which were based in part
on Siebert's research - four federal lawsuits were filed by various groups
seeking temperature-compensation devices on fuel pumps, and compensation for
consumers from the oil companies.
- By Reed Black, staff