ExxonMobil Requires Pump Decals

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ExxonMobil Requires Pump Decals

SANTA MONICA, Calif. -- ExxonMobil will put decals on its gasoline pumps in California and Arizona acknowledging that "hot fuel" may not deliver the full value of a gallon of gasoline, according to a report by Oil Express.

The article said Exxon will require the decal at all its company-owned and franchised stations, and would "encourage" others that sell the Exxon brand to display the decal.

The wording of the decal will be: "This device dispenses motor fuel by volume measured in gallons. It does not adjust the volume for variations in the temperature of the fuel. The temperature of motor fuel affects the energy content of each gallon dispensed."

Exxon's action follows a similar decal warning by refiner Tesoro at its California stations, including the USA Petroleum chain and more than 250 Shell stations recently acquired by Tesoro. At the time, other companies denied that they would follow suit.

The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR) noted that gasoline is adjusted for temperature variations from the national standard of 60 degrees, when it is sold by the refinery to distributors, and then to retailers. At each stage, the buyer receives extra gasoline to make up for expansion and energy loss if the fuel is over 60 degrees.

However, the FTCR said the same fuel is sold without any temperature adjustments to motorists, causing an annual loss of $2.3 billion to drivers nationally. In California, the statewide average year-round temperature of gasoline is over 74 degrees, according to a federal study cited by the nonpartisan consumer advocacy organization.

The FTCR criticized Exxon, stating that the oil company instead should have announced plans to fix the problem, which would have gained it brand market share and consumer confidence. The company is just fending off lawsuits, the agency argued.