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Old 08-14-2007, 11:15 PM   #1
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Oil Companies Are Using a Simple Trick to Bilk Consumers out of Billions

Hello -

Here's an interesting article that we have talked about before :

Oil Companies Are Using a Simple Trick to Bilk Consumers out of Billions - August 14, 2007.
http://alternet.org/story/59593/
Quote:
Oil companies know that gasoline expands at higher temperatures and has less volume at lower ones, but they've refused to upgrade gas stations with a simple tool that would adjust the price of gas according to its temperature.

It's probably intuitive to most people that the gasoline in their fuel tank expands in the heat -- just like doorframes and cookware and everything else on the planet. What's probably less intuitive is that, in the United States, this physical phenomenon pumps a nearly $2 billion annual windfall out of consumers' pockets and into oil company coffers, according to numerous calculations, including a recent House of Representatives study.

The North Carolina-based company Gilbarco Veeder-Root manufactures a device -- a temperature-sensitive chamber for fuel -- that, if affixed to gasoline pumps across the country, would return that money to consumers and help relieve some of our storied gas-price pressures. The device -- and others like it -- is simple, functional and, in fact, already in widespread use at gas stations all across Canada. Last month, Democratic presidential hopeful and Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich, chair of the Domestic Policy Subcommittee, held the second in a series of hearings to investigate why the technology has never made it into the American market.
...
I guess the early bird gets cheaper gas.

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Old 08-15-2007, 05:55 AM   #2
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Okay, so, hypothetically, every gas station is required to install some sort of temperature compensator. The cost for that is going to be ________... Anyone? Yes, passed on to the customer, that's right. And then in the afternoon someone might get one percent more gas, and who is going to pay for that? the customer or the oil company? Correct, the customer. So, now everyone has a temperature compensated gauge, and customers pay more for gas. Who won? Not the customer. Not the oil company. I guess the compensator manufacturers and their employees win. So if you want to help them out, push for legislation requiring temperature compensation. Otherwise, fill up in the morning and really stick it to the oil companies...
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Old 08-15-2007, 06:35 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Bill in Houston View Post
.... The cost for that is going to be ________... Anyone? Yes, passed on to the customer, that's right..... Who won? Not the customer. Not the oil company. I guess the compensator manufacturers and their employees win. ...
I agree, with the exception that the oil companies will win as well. Any excuse to drive up prices will be used to their advantage.
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Originally Posted by Bill in Houston View Post
....Otherwise, fill up in the morning and really stick it to the oil companies...
...
I try to gas around midnight. Its either the first or last function of the day. This way its the coldest part of the day that Im actually awake and its not an inconvenience to my day. Im usually running around all hours of the day anyway. NEVER gas during day when sun is out. Only gas when returning from late night party or that midnight run to Blockbuster or leave house 5 minutes early on way to work. Bill is 100% right.

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Old 08-15-2007, 07:12 AM   #4
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I'm in Oil Refinery. But I'm not in that sales or shipping/loading dept. I know there was a chart which was temperature compensated liquid density, it is used when a tank car is loading gasoline from the refinery. I believe many refineries turned into digital control system.

I guess the refinery and the gas station use the temperature compensation. But I don't know the gas station facility what they are doing. If required, it is not that expensive.

BTW, I do early in the morning.
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Old 08-15-2007, 10:14 AM   #5
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As a side note, here in Houston/Galveston, they have ads on the radio asking people to gas up in the afternoon, so that VOC emissions due to fueling are reduced in the morning, which helps reduce ozone generation during the day.
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Old 08-15-2007, 11:47 AM   #6
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Reduce in the morning and increase in the afternoon !!!!!
If that is true, the overall will be increased because of higher vapor pressure at higher temperature.

As far as I know, there is not such ad. in LA.
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Old 08-15-2007, 01:56 PM   #7
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I stil think this is all a hoax. The tanks are huge aren't they? In the range of thousands of gallons. They are also underground, kept at 55F constantly by the insulation of the earth. So maybe it has some time to warm up when it's in the tube, but that's at most a gallon. So if one gallon is 50% warmer which expands the gas a percent or two, that's almost negligable.
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Old 08-15-2007, 01:56 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by theclencher View Post
I wonder what the temp penalty really is, seeing as how these giant tanks are underground and all.
Enough that Canada made the temp adjustment mandatory IIRC. Those hosers are light years ahead of us...
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Old 08-17-2007, 07:47 AM   #9
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There could be some volume change. For example, one of common gasoline component N-Pentane(NC5) will have 38.676 lb/ft^3 at 80 deg F and 39.359 at 60 deg F. There is 1.8 % volume change over the 20 deg F change.

I have to consider the cooling effect of the ground as well. 80 deg F gasoline may not be practical number, but theoretically possible.
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Old 08-17-2007, 01:41 PM   #10
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Anything stored in the ground is going to be roughly 55F
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