1-26-07 by dugan
I’m heading this weekend to a meeting in Albuquerque of the national weights and measures organization. The buzz issue is whether to fix the hot fuel ripoff with temperature-compensating retail pumps, a topic the National Conference on Weights and Measures is only reluctantly taking up. The lobbyists will be out in force.
The American Petroleum Institute and other lobbies help fund the de facto regulatory organization of state weights and measures officials, especially its regional subgroups. The lobbies always send representatives to their meetings, large and small, and pay for members’ outings and entertainment (like a paddlewheeler dinner outing I attended last fall on Lake Tahoe).
The regulators literally feed at the hand of the regulated, an arrangement so longstanding that the regulators don’t appear to see wht’s wrong with it.
Weights and measures officials in some Western states have, to their credit, favored fixing the hot fuel ripoff by at least encouraging use of pump equpment that adjusts for temperature and gives a full gallon of energy, no matter what the fuel temperature. It’s already in broad use across Canada, so nothing needs inventing. But the oil and gasoline industry holds more sway elsewhere.
It’s strictly polictics, and politics often isn’t fair. Plus the fuel industry is far more powerful than turkey packers and olive canners (What’s she talking about? See post below.)
I hope I’m wrong. We’ll know by Tuesday, when the group will likely decide on what to recommend, or not recommend, about stopping a grating unfairness to motorists.