Hot fuel dropped from Weights and Measures agenda

| 7/17/2009

The issue of hot fuel has been dropped from the agenda of the National Conference of Weights and Measures.

At a meeting this week, the group rejected making temperature compensation devices mandatory on fuel pumps and removed the issue of hot fuel from further consideration. The executive director of the Conference, Don Onwiler, says studies by agencies such as the California Energy Commission found temperature compensation at the pump wouldn’t significantly help consumers.

“The commission report states that the addition of automatic temperature compensation into the marketplace could actually cost the consumers more in price per gallon in the long run to pay for that technology and the inspection of that technology,” Onwiler said.

OOIDA has long sided with consumers who contend that hot, inflated fuel costs Americans billions of dollars each year because the fuel delivers less energy than diesel or gas at a lower temperature. OOIDA’s Tom Weakley says he’s not surprised that the weights and measures conference didn’t act on the hot fuel issue since there’s a lawsuit pending in federal court on behalf of consumers.

Weakley says hot fuel compensation at the pump would definitely save truckers and motorists a significant amount of money, and the oil industry could easily afford to install compensation equipment.

“We certainly don’t believe that it causes negative financial impact on retailers or certainly not the large world companies – not enough to impact them to even be a drop in the bucket with the kind of profits they make, “Weakley told Land Line Now. “So our stand is that it needs to be looked at. It needs to be carefully examined, and certainly I think the courts will do that.”

In April, the big retailer Costco announced plans to install temperature compensation devices on its fuel pumps in some states. That move would settle its part of the federal court lawsuit against oil companies and retailers.

– By Reed Black, staff writer