Automatic Temperature Compensation

ATA letter to NCWM

The American Trucking Association (ATA) has told the National Conference on Weights and Measures (NCWM) that they are opposed to a national Automatic Temperature Compensation (ATC) retail mandate. ATA believes that due to the competitive nature of the retail motor fuel industry, inventory shrinkage or expansion is accounted for in the retail pricing of diesel, and “any impact of temperature variances is eliminated through competitive pricing.” ATA also voiced concern that the cost of the installation of temperature compensation devices would increase the retailer’s cost of goods and ultimately be passed on to the consumer. “For this reason, ATA is concerned that the installation of ATC devices is a solution that may be more expensive than the problem it is trying to address”.

As some may know, the energy content of gasoline fluctuates with the temperature. One gallon of gasoline is measured as 235 cubic inches at 60 degrees (238 cubic inches in Hawaii).  As the temperature rises and falls above or below 60 degrees, your vehicle gains or loses miles per gallon.  On average the amount of energy lost in winter is equivalent to a teaspoon.

ATC has caught the attention of the NCWM after several congressional hearings. Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) called several hearings and tried to drag the leaders of Exxon and Shell to testify on the matter.  Congress was alerted to the issue by several articles in the Kansas City Star after truck drivers noticed they got fewer miles per gallon after filling up at a particular truckstop out west.

If the NCWM approves mandated or permissive ATC, we will also see the cost of gasoline rise.


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