McCaskill Reintroduces Hot Fuel Legislation

McCaskill
Reintroduces Hot Fuel Legislation

Bill
aims to save Missourians money at the gas pump

WASHINGTON, D.C. –
As gas prices rise amid the summer travel season, U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill
today reintroduced legislation that will help protect consumers at the gas pump
during the heat of Missouri summers. Currently, retailers measure
gas at 60 degrees Fahrenheit, but when gas expands in warmer months, consumers
get less gas for their money, costing Americans an estimated $2.57 billion
annually.

McCaskill is continuing to work to address the problem
with the FAIR (Future Accountability In
Retail) Fuel Act of 2009
legislation requiring the installation of
automatic temperature compensating equipment in all retail gas station pumps to
adjust the price of gas as it expands due to warmer temperatures. 

She was inspired by a 2006 three-part series in the
Kansas City Star exposing the
problem, which prompted her to make a campaign promise to pursue a solution in
Congress once elected.  McCaskill originally introduced the legislation in
2007. 

In addition to requiring all retail gas stations to
install the new temperature compensating technology within 6 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 for which they have paid.  

A similar policy was implemented in Canada
fifteen years ago because retailers were losing money due to the cold
temperature of the fuel they were selling.  The idea is gaining some traction in
the United
States as well.  Earlier this year, the
U.S. retailer Costco Warehouse, LLC
agreed to install temperature compensating equipment as a result of a legal
settlement.

The FAIR Fuel
Act
has received praise as common-sense consumer protection
legislation. Groups such as Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association,
Consumer Watchdog, and U.S. Public Interest Research Groups (USPIRG) have
endorsed the legislation.

FAIR Fuel
Amendment:

·       
Requires installation of automatic
temperature sensing equipment in all retail gasoline pumps within 6 years of the
enactment of the legislation.

·       
Gives authority to the FTC, in conjunction
with NIST, to implement the requirement with a final rule to be promulgated no
later than one year after the enactment of the legislation.

·       
Establishes a grant fund for retailers who
own or operate five or fewer retail fuel establishments and want assistance to
pay for the new equipment.  A retailer can receive $1000 per pump, but no more
than $10,000 per retailer.

·       
Does not preempt individual states from
regulating the sale of “hot gas” so long as the state standard is equivalent to
the federal regulation.

·       
Includes certain exemptions for rural retail
gasoline establishments.