Paying real dollars for ghost gas

Gas pump


Doug Krizner: As summer heats up, electricity bills aren't the only thing costing consumers more money. They're also paying extra at the pump, and it's not because of high energy prices. From the Marketplace Sustainability Desk, Sam Eaton reports.

Sam Eaton: The retail price for gasoline is based on that gas being 60 degrees, but because its volume expands in heat, filling your tank on a hot day can cost you as much as 50 cents more.

Democratic Congressman Dennis Kucinich says that adds up.

Rep. Dennis Kucinich: American consumers this summer will pay a billion and a half dollars for gasoline they're not getting. I would call it ghost gas.

Kucinich wants gas stations to correct for the shortfall by installing temperature compensation devices.

This week the organization that sets U.S. measurement standards will consider the issue at its annual meeting, but Dan Gilligan with the Petroleum Marketers Association of America says retrofitting the pumps would be too costly.

Dan Gilligan: The retailer has no conceivable way of recovering that investment. All he'd have to do is raise prices on consumers to pay for it.

Gilligan says more facts are needed before messing with a standard that's been in place for 80 years.

I'm Sam Eaton for Marketplace.

About the author

Sam Eaton is an independent radio and television journalist. His reporting on complex environmental issues from climate change to population growth has taken him all over the United States and the world.


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