Thursday, June 26, 2008

Harris Takes on Greedy Oil Companies


The CCP has proudly endorsed Rep. Jeff Harris in his bid for Attorney General. As a life long Democrat, he has taken the lead on many Democratic issues. No apologies, no accident in voting for Medicaid cuts, no getting your picture with Dick Cheney, no slip ups endorsing John Ashcroft over Mel Carnahan. Just a life long, real-to-life Democrat. Here's the latest example:

Harris Pledges to Take on "Hot Fuel" As Attorney General, He will Use His Office to Protect Consumers at the Pump

Columbia - With Missourians preparing for the July 4th holiday, Representative Jeff Harris today unveiled his plan to combat the pricing discrepancy caused by "hot fuel" at gas stations. Harris pledged that as Missouri's next Attorney General he will use his office to aggressively protect consumers at the pump.

The Kansas City Star has reported extensively on the issue of hot fuel, estimating in 2006 that consumers were being overcharged $2.3 billion annually.1 That amount would now be significantly higher as the price of gas has soared over the past year.

The overcharging occurs because gasoline expands when the temperature goes up in summer months. This means that a 231-cubic-inch gallon sold in 90-degree weather produces less energy than a 231-cubic-inch gallon sold in 60 degree weather. With gas prices now at nearly $4 per gallon that difference can add up to nearly 7-cents per gallon. That adds up to more than $1 every time the average consumer fills up the tank.2

"Missouri consumers shouldn't be paying a dime more than they have to when Big Oil companies are making record profits," said Harris. "I will aggressively work to put an end to this hot fuel rip-off, whether that's at the bully pulpit, through legislative action, or in the court or law."

He emphasized that he wants to focus on solutions that will make Big Oil companies pay the costs to fix the problem that they have knowingly allowed to continue, rather than having family-owned gas stations and other small companies bear the burden. Harris noted that his plan to combat hot fuel will compliment the efforts that current Attorney General Jay Nixon has made in combating price gouging in gasoline sales.

"Jay Nixon has done a great job working for consumers," Harris said. "Despite that, every time you turn around, consumers are still taking it on the chin, and no where any worse than at the pump. I'm not about to guarantee that we'll win every battle, but I do want voters to know that when I'm Attorney General, I'll be standing in their corner fighting for them."

16 comments:

whistleblower said...

Someone needs to let Harris in on a little secret:

Gasoline is stored in insulated underground tanks!

Those tanks keep the gasoline at about 55-65 degrees Fahrenheit all year long.

In going along with The Harris Theory; wouldn't the cold winter months compensate with a gallon providing more energy?

Tell Harris to stick with being an attorney. Combustion and thermodynamics are not his strong suit.

Take a glass thermometer with you the next time you fill up a gas can on a 95 degree day. I bet you will find the temp of the freshly pumped gas to be less than 70 degrees. (make sure you wash the thermometer thoroughly after this test, and don’t sit it on anything before you do.)

This is just a bunch of hot air about hot gas.

Is Harris one of those guys that believes that kerosene will melt steel?

Anonymous said...

Jeff Harris is right here. A number of studies have shown that consumers losses in warm state are ten times greater than consumer gains in cold states. Missouri consumers lose in the tens of million of dollars because of hot fuel.
http://www.ooida.com/straight_talk/Temperature%20Compensation%20slides.pdf
http://www.turndownhotfuel.com/myths.html

This is an argument originally made by big oil but because of the data it is in disfavor.

This is a good proposal. Claire McCaskill has a similar porposal on the federal level.

The KC Star had an award winning series on this a few years ago. Kudos to Jeff Harris and Claire McCaskill for taking on this issue.

Sound Science said...

Yo, W-blower, since the '90s the tanks have been double walled fiberglass. They act just like a thermos. Hot fuel stays hot a long time before it has a chance to cool down. Studies by the National Institute of Science and Technology show that in MO fuel is at 75.2 degrees F. in summer and 49.3 in the winter. But wouldn't you like to get the same miles per gallon from every fill-up? What else do you buy where you have to wait a full year for your purchases to "equal out" so that it's fair? Besides as a nation, the impact of cool fuel is 1/10 the impact of warm fuel on consumers. There are months in AZ where fuel AVERAGES being 97 degrees F. All temperature compensation is seeking is a fair deal for both the consumer and the retailer. Pay for what you get and get what you pay for. Is that too much to ask?

whistleblower said...

Anonymous...

The information and the associated sites that you provide are based on junk science.

Nist.org is well-known among the scientific communities as a ready source for junk science.

The second site that you refer to http://www.turndownhotfuel.com/myths.html tells the reader to "Ask a station attendant for the automatic gauging meter report. It will tell you the temperature of the fuel in the underground tanks."

That is just a bunch of BS. Call or go to any local service station. You will find that they don't measure fuel temp. A quick Google search for "automatic gauging meter report" reveals that the site you refer to is the only place to mention such.

When dealing with the ability of a substance to change temperature by an outside influence you must consider the heat capacity and heat transfer coefficient of that substance. The studies you cite ignore this.

In order to heat or cool something you must consider this.

The rate at which it will change temperature is equal to the mass flow rate past the heating or cooling source times the heat transfer coefficient times (the temp difference)
Q=m*c*(Hot-Cold)

Since the gasoline is not flowing, it will take a long time to change temperature. Further, as the gas would start to warm, the rate at which it would heat up would decrease.

Based on information obtained from the websites you refer to; the service station (75% of which are owned by small businesses) are the ones more likely to be getting ripped off by fuel that is delivered hot.

As I stated before; fill up a small gas can (like the one used for your lawn mower) next time you get a chance, and use a glass thermometer to measure the temp. I'm sure you will find it to be less than 70%.

whistleblower said...

sound science...

Nice to see a blogger profile that was just created attempt to be passed off as a legitimate source.

By your own statements; "in MO fuel is at 75.2 degrees F. in summer and 49.3 in the winter", it would seem that Missourians are coming out on top. 75.2 degrees in the summer is 15.2 degrees above the cu.ft./gallon standard, but the winter 49.3 degrees is over 20 degrees below the standard. Therefore, according to your data, Missourians should shut up and enjoy their winter benefits.

This whole thing is just a way for the manufacturers of the temperature compensation equipment to sell their goods.

Anonymous said...

Whisteblower

Is Claire fuel of it also? She has the same kind of idea.

Do you represent big oil?

whistleblower said...

anonymous...

NO. I don't represent big oil. I don't have any interests in big oil (or small oil).

If Claire is buying into this BS, she is wrong too.

This whole "hot gas" issue is based on two motivating factors.
1. The trial attorneys get to generate some money from the profits made by the oil companies.
2. The North Carolina manufacturer of the temperature compensation equipment get to sell their product.

mainstream said...

Good job whistleblower.I don't agree with you too much, but i have to respect your cajones and your honest dedication to seeking the truth.

My take on it is that the KC Star, who broke and really tried hard to get traction with this story, smelled a pulitzer.

Unfortunately the story ran out of gas.

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