Legislation proposes 'hot fuel' compensation
Aug 9, 2007 6:18 AM
Legislation has been introduced in the US Senate that, if enacted, would require the installation of automatic temperature compensating equipment in all retail gas station pumps within six years to adjust the price of gas and diesel fuels as they expand in warmer temperatures.
According to information from the office of Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), retailers currently measure gas at 60 degrees Fahrenheit, and consumers are paying a price for gas based on that temperature. However, warmer temperatures cause gas to expand and, as a result, consumers are getting less gas, sometimes defined as "hot fuel."
In addition to requiring all retail gas stations to install the new technology, the legislation calls for assistance for retailers to comply, and imposes penalties for those who fail to ensure consumers are receiving the gas that they pay for.
The legislation also would:
•Give the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), working in conjunction with National Institute for Standards and Technology, authority to implement the requirement with a final rule to be promulgated no later than one year after the enactment of the legislation.
•Require state inspectors to determine if the equipment has been installed and report to the FTC during their annual inspections.
•Give a reprieve with a follow-up inspections 180 days after the violation is found to first time offenders. If on the second inspection, retailers are still found to be in violation, they would be fined $5000 for each pump out of compliance.
•Establishes a grant fund for retailers, other than major integrated oil companies, who want assistance to pay for the new equipment. A retailer can receive $1000 per pump, but no more than $10,000 per retailer.
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