"Hot Gas" Shorting Drivers $2.3 Billion And Who Cares?

When you are filling up this Labor Day Weekend, if the temperature is more than 60 degrees, you are getting ripped off by about three cents per gallon in one of America's most longest-standing, outrageous ripoffs. That's roughly $2.3 billion per year.

US fuel pumps do not adjust for temperature, unlike their Canadian counterparts. When the temperature of gasoline rises above 60 degrees, the gasoline expands but pumps don't account for the bigger volume and consumers receive less gasoline than they should. The technology to adjust for temperature has already been installed in Canada (since colder temperature gas costs the companies) but domestic oil companies have resisted because they made an extra $500 million in profits per year alone in California due to failure to adjust for gasoline temperature. Hawaii is the only state to adjust its pump calculations for hotter gas.

The Kansas City Star broke the story last Monday and since then only the California attorney general has bothered to launch an investigation.

I asked one hopeful progressive political candidate socially about the issue last week and he said it was too "small" for him. Pennies afterall. That's probably the thinking of a lot of Democratic Congressional candidates hoping to turn the tide in the midterm. If Democrats don't start thinking about hot-button pocketbook issues, where ill gotten pennies add up to billions of dollars for unfavorable industies, we are not going to see a two party government in Washington, DC any time soon.