Dear PEI Member:
Weights and measures officials in the United States have debated the costs and benefits of automatic temperature compensation (ATC), off and on, for over three decades with no resolution. In general, supporters of temperature compensation at the retail level claim that ATC provides a more accurate and replicable measurement method, while those who are opposed argue that upgrading existing equipment would be costly and pose potential economic hardship on gasoline retailers.
State and local governments develop weights and measures regulations with input from the National Conference on Weights and Measures (NCWM). In 2007, a NCWM standing committee recommended a proposal to allow, but not require, automatic temperature compensation at the retail level. NCWM did not reach consensus on that proposal and the issue was deferred for further consideration. In 2008, a NCWM steering committee recommended a proposal to require automatic temperature compensation following a 10-year period during which retailers could decide to purchase the equipment based on their business needs. But as before, NCWM members did not reach a consensus on the proposal, and that issue was also deferred for further consideration.
Petroleum marketers have maintained that implementing ATC for retail fuel sales would involve costs to purchase, install, and inspect new equipment on gasoline dispensers, as well as costs to educate consumers about the change. Representative Bart Gordon, chairman of the Committee on Science and Technology, asked the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) to provide information on the costs of ATC, who would bear those costs, and the reasons some state and national governments have adopted or rejected ATC. That report was issued October 15.
The 26-page report, while well-written and factually correct, doesn't resolve any of the issues in question. GAO's conclusions were that:
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So, what happens next? In 2007, the California legislature directed the state Energy Commission to study the costs and benefits of purchasing and installing ATC devices for retail petroleum sales. In addition, the study will develop data on the costs to agencies to develop appropriate test procedures, acquire calibration equipment, and inspect dispensers at retail stations. Our take is that lawmakers in Washington and NCWM officials will wait for the California report, scheduled to be completed February 2009, before deciding what to do with ATC. I predicted earlier this month at the PEI membership meeting in Chicago that automatic temperature compensation will not be required. I haven't changed my mind.
2008 CHICAGO CONVENTION RECAP
Blair Shwedo, president of SouthEastern Petroleum Systems Inc. (SEPS), headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, was elected to serve as the 59th president of PEI. On January 1, Shwedo will succeed Bruce Larson, president of the Oscar W. Larson Co., headquartered in Clarkston, Michigan, in PEI's top elected position. Shwedo is currently serving as PEI vice president.
Replacing Shwedo as vice president will be Peter Ward, president of Glasgow Equipment Service, Inc., Riviera Beach, Florida. Ward has just completed his term as treasurer of the association, and has previously served three terms on the PEI board representing Distributor District 3. Dennis Rethmeier, president of Western Pump, Inc., headquartered in San Diego, California, was appointed treasurer of the association by the PEI Board of Directors.
Seven new members were also installed as members of the association's board of directors during the Chicago convention. They are Craig Smith, Francis Smith & Sons, Inc., Chinchilla, Pennsylvania (District 2); Monti Harris, Oil Equipment Supply Corp., Indianapolis, Indiana (District 4); Phil Farrell, Double Check Company, Inc., Kansas City, Missouri (District 6); Robert J. Peavey, PumpTex Inc., Beaumont, Texas (District 8); Al Eichorn, PMP Corporation, Avon, Connecticut (District 10); Robert J. Milo, Universal Valve Company, Inc., Elizabeth, New Jersey (District 12); and Erik T. Long, Walsh, Long & Company, Inc., Naperville, Illinois (Affiliate Division).
The PEI Board of Directors met twice in Chicago and took the following action on items of interest to the membership:
The educational and PEI-sponsored events planned by the 2008 Education and Convention Committees were top notch and well attended. Recordings and PowerPoint presentations of the sessions can be ordered now at www.pei.org/show.
It takes an extraordinary number of people to make the PEI Convention the premier event for our industry. Thanks to all the volunteers who helped make the convention a success: the Find Red team, 10-Group chairmen, education and convention committee members, session presenters and introducers, officers and directors, and Priority Club members.
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The TulsaLetter (ISSN 0193-9467) is published two or three times each month by the Petroleum Equipment Institute. Robert N. Renkes, Executive Vice President, Editor. Opinions expressed are the opinions of the Editor. Basic circulation confined to PEI members.