U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill has introduced the Future Accountability In Retail, or FAIR, Fuel Act, which requires the installation of automatic temperature compensating equipment in all retail gas station pumps within six years to adjust the price of gas as it expands due to warmer temperatures.
Reports indicate that Americans spend $2.57 billion more than they should for gasoline and diesel fuel, due to expanded “hot fuel”.
The need for McCaskill’s legislation was inspired by the Kansas City Star’s three-part series on “hot fuel” last year, which uncovered that the simple laws of physics were scamming consumers at the pump. 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. As a candidate for the U.S. Senate, McCaskill pledged to work toward a solution to the “hot fuel” problem.
“Some say, ‘you get what you pay for’. That’s just not the case at the gas pump in the summertime,” McCaskill said. “We have the technology to change that, and there’s no good reason not to utilize it.”
In addition to requiring all retail gas stations to install the new temperature compensating technology within six years, the FAIR Fuel Act would offer assistance for retailers to comply, and impose penalties for those who fail to ensure consumers are receiving the gas that they pay for.
“The big oil companies are the most profitable corporations in the universe, and yet they continue to fight against consumer protections while we pay the price,” McCaskill said. “The least we can do in Congress is ensure consumers are getting what they pay for.”
The F.A.I.R. Fuel Act would also 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. It’d also require state inspectors to determine if the equipment has been installed and report to the FTC during their annual inspections.