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Exxon’s “Hot Fuel” Ripoff Labels | Oil Watchdog

Press Release

Exxon’s “Hot Fuel” Ripoff Labels


Thu, Aug 9, 2007 at 12:24 pm

    Exxon’s “Hot Fuel” Ripoff Labels


    August 9, 2007

    CONTACT: Judy Dugan, (310) 392-0522, ext. 305, or cell 213 280-0175, or Jamie Court, ext. 327

    ExxonMobil’s Pump Labels Are Clue to "Hot Fuel" Ripoff;

    New Stickers Are No Substitute for a Fair Gallon of Gasoline At a Fair Price, Says Group

    Santa Monica, CA — Many Mobil and Exxon stations in California have
    begun posting small signs on each pump, calling it a "Motor Fuel
    Measurement Notice." The stickers, warning that the energy content of a
    gallon of fuel varies with its temperature, acknowledge that consumers
    are being ripped off, said the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer


    The nonprofit, nonpartisan FTCR said the stickers are a strategy
    to fend off "hot fuel" lawsuits and allow the ripoff to continue.
    However, the foundation noted that either a current class action
    lawsuit or federal legislation to require temperature compensation of
    retail fuel may force oil refiners fix the problem.

    "ExxonMobil, America’s most profitable corporation, owes
    drivers more than a cheap sticker in tiny print," said Judy Dugan,
    research director of FTCR and its OilWatchdog.org project. "The company
    has funds that it uses to help dealers with infrastucture, and which
    could be used to buy nozzles that adjust fuel volume for higher

    Newly introduced legislation in the Senate (S. 1997), by Sen. Claire
    McCaskill of Missouri, would require gasoline and diesel to be sold
    adjusted for temperature, giving motorists a fair gallon’s worth of
    energy for their money. (See information on the legislation here.)

    "Consumers and lawmakers are increasingly aware that there is a
    thumb on the scale when they buy gasoline, even though they have no
    fairer alternative for purchasing it," said Dugan. "The Senate’s hot
    fuel bill is a warning oil companies, refiners and distributors of
    gasoline that they can either make gasoline sales honest themselves or
    be forced by the courts or government to do it."

    Gasoline, especially in the summer, expands as its temperature
    rises. But fuel is sold by volume at a benchmark of 60 degrees, so
    drivers are paying for "ghost gas," the lost energy content of a gallon
    at any temperature above 60 degrees. At other parts of the supply
    chain, the gasoline is sold temperature-adjusted, meaning slightly more
    gasoline is provided at higher temperatures.

    The year-round temperature of fuel at the pump in California
    averages 74.5 degrees, and higher in summer. The national average is
    64.7 degrees, according to a study by the National Institute of
    Standards and Technology. At $3.00 a gallon, and with fuel at 75
    degrees, motorists may lose 50 cents or more per tankful to "ghost
    gas." (Click here for more information and background on "hot fuel".)

    ExxonMobil said that it would put stickers on its pumps at
    stations in California and Arizona. A survey of six stations in Los
    Angeles and Santa Monica, however, found the stickers only at
    Exxon-owned and franchised stations, not at independently owned but
    branded Exxon and Mobil stations. (Click here for the original announcement.)

    – 30 –

    The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR) is
    California’s leading nonpartisan consumer advocacy organization. For
    more information, visit us on the web at: www.ConsumerWatchdog.org and www.OilWatchdog.org.

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