Consumer group may lose hot fuel fight

February 19, 2009 6:37:09 PM PST
A consumer group's fight over hot fuel is gearing down, and it looks like they will not get what they want.

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Gas expands and contracts depending on the temperature.

A study by the California Energy Commission found the average temperature of gas in California is 71 degrees. At that temperature, gas is expanding and consumers are actually getting 1 percent less gas than they buy.

Installing temperature gauges at the pump could automatically adjust the amount of gas pumped.

But a commission report says the cost of installing that equipment would just get passed on to consumers and benefits no one.

The California group, Consumer Watchdog, disagrees.

"If you amortize that over 8 years or 10 years or the life of the pump, it's a pretty small cost," Consumer Watchdog spokesperson Judy Dugan said.

The commission is set to vote on the report's recommendations February 25.

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