Granholm Says State Working to Protect Consumers at the Pump by Continuing Pump Inspections

Contact: Liz Boyd 517-335-6397

June 18, 2008

LANSING - Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today said that the state is continuing its statewide efforts to protect consumers by ensuring that Michigan citizens are getting both the quality and quantity of gas they pay for at the pump.

"We are working to protect consumers who are feeling the pinch of rising gas prices," Granholm said.  "These inspections provide real benefits directly to consumers' pocketbooks by ensuring that they are getting every penny's worth of gas they pay for at the pump." 

In 2007, the Michigan Department of Agriculture (MDA) inspected 30,262 gas and diesel fuel meters at more than 3,100 locations across the state, which is the highest meter inspection since 1996, resulting in increased compliance efforts by the fuel industry.

Increased inspections have driven meter accuracy up five percent since 2004 to more than 99 percent.  Overall meter compliance has increased 12 percent - from 80 percent in 2004 to approximately 92 percent. 

Motorists can help increase their protection by making sure that the price displayed on the pump is set to zero before the pump starts and by verifying before fueling that the sign on the roadway matches the price on the pump.  In addition, consumers should always request a receipt as a record of their purchase.

Consumers can also improve their fuel economy by controlling the factors that burn more fuel.  Following these steps will help improve gas mileage, extend vehicle life, and make travel safer:

-  Keep your engine tuned, maintain tires at the correct pressure, change the air filter regularly, and use energy-saving motor oil.

-  Avoid aggressive driving, such as rapid acceleration and braking.  It can lower fuel economy up to 33 percent on the highway and five percent around town.  This can cost as much as 49 cents per gallon.

-  Watch your speed - high speed creates more wind resistance.  Every five miles-per-hour (mph) driven over 60 mph can cost an additional 10 cents per gallon.

-  Be aware that running electric accessories like air conditioners can also reduce fuel economy by five to 25 percent.

Anyone who suspects problems at the pump is encouraged to call 1-800-MDA-FUEL (1-800-632-3835), the Michigan Department of Agriculture's 24-hour hotline for reporting complaints.

Granholm also announced today that legislation will be introduced in the State House of Representatives that would give the attorney general full authority to investigate price-fixing and gas-gouging at Michigan's gas pumps.  The governor called for this legislation to protect consumers at the pump in her 2008 State of the State address.  The legislation will be introduced by State Representatives Mary Valentine (D-Norton Shores) and Robert Dean (D-Grand Rapids).

For additional information on MDA's Weights and Measures Program, please visit www.michigan.gov/wminfo.  For additional information on gas-pricing, visit one of the following Web sites:  www.michigan.gov/gaspricesor www.michigan.gov/gasolinecorner.

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