Congressional Hearing Raises Questions About Gasoline Overcharges During Hot Weather
WASHINGTON, D.C. --- During a Congressional hearing last week, oil executives denied that drivers overpay for gasoline during hot weather when fuel expands, Time magazine reported.
"The idea that temperature adjustments will somehow give people more for their money simply does not take into account the realities of the gasoline market," Hugh Cooley, a vice president for Shell Oil Co., told a House hearing July 25.
Ben Soraci, retail sales director for Exxon Mobil Corp., argued that if gas station operators had to assume the cost of new measuring devices that took the temperature changes into account, those operators would probably pass along the cost to customers anyway. Further, he added, factoring in temperature in pricing "would violate current laws and regulations" that define a gallon of gasoline as 231 cubic inches.
However, critics of the oil industry have argued that during hot weather, consumers pay as much as $1.5 billion a year in overcharges. This issue has led to more than two dozen consumer-based suits in several states.