U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-CA, is convinced that it was
pressure from big oil companies that swayed a manufacturer to withdraw
equipment designed to ensure fairness at the fuel pump.
Boxer recently told a select group of California reporters
and The Kansas City Star reporter
Steve Everly by teleconference that manufacturer Gilbarco Veeder-Root had
succumbed to pressure from oil companies to withdraw temperature-compensation
equipment for fuel pumps. The company had just gained state certification for
the equipment and had planned to begin marketing it.
Boxer told the reporters she would keep an eye on the issue
and that she planned to bring the issue to the attention of California Gov.
Hot fuel refers to diesel fuel and gasoline sold above 60
degrees - a national standard that guarantees a consumer gets a certain amount
of Btu energy in a standard size U.S. gallon. In other words, it defines a
gallon of fuel in terms of energy content in addition to volume.
It was the reporter from The
Kansas City Star who in part used OOIDA Foundation research to expose to
the mainstream the alleged consumer rip-off.
During the teleconference. Boxer said she spoke with
Gilbarco officials to try to convince them to move forward to market their
temperature-compensation product. Boxer told reporters that Gilbarco officials
were considering a return to marketing the equipment.
Land Line's calls
to Gilbarco have gone unreturned throughout the process.
There is no regulation or law that forces a fuel retailer to
compensate for temperature, but groups of plaintiffs involved in a number of
federal lawsuits filed against retailers and oil companies want that to change.
The Foundation for Taxpayer & Consumer Rights - a
taxpayer group in California - has also asked the state attorney general to
investigate the effects big oil may have had in Gilbarco's situation.