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The hot fuel scam costs motorists big bucks

Gas expands, so when you buy it in summer you get a lot of hot air.

Martin Tobias
Martin Tobias is CEO and chairman of Imperium Renewables and a venture partner at Ignition Partners.
Martin Tobias
Check out the chart on gallons of energy lost that shows in each state will lose this summer to hot fuel, or gas that's sold at high temperatures. The high temperatures cause gas to expand. While the volume increases with temperature, energy content doesn't. As a result, motorists pay for fuel they don't really get. Rather than adopt a seasonal temperature standard, the oil industry sticks with a 60 degree Fahrenheit standard.

In California, 71.5 million gallons of phantom hot fuel will get sold in California during the summer and 21.9 million gallons will get delivered by Arizona pumps. Alaska gains some gallons.

A Congressional report says that U.S. motorists will pay $1.4 billion extra over the summer months for gasoline that expands at high temperatures. Steve Everly at the Kansas City Star has been digging into the issue.

Who was the chair of the committee? Sometimes presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich. I wish this were in the hands of someone with a bigger and more respected microphone. This is important stuff.