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DALLAS -- Calling it a "motor fuel measurement notice," ExxonMobil affixed labels to numerous Mobil and Exxon stations in California altering customers that the energy content of a gallon of fuel varies with its temperature, a move that the consumer group Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR) called acknowledgement of shortchanging consumers in a written statement.
In a statement, the FTCR said the stickers are a strategy to fend off "hot fuel" lawsuits.
"ExxonMobil, America's most profitable corporation, owes drivers more than a cheap sticker in tiny print," Judy Dugan, research director of FTCR and its OilWatchdog.org project, said in a written statement. "The company has funds that it uses to help dealers with infrastructure, and which could be used to buy nozzles that adjust fuel volume for higher temperatures."
In addition, newly introduced legislation in the Senate by Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri, would require fuels to be adjusted for
temperature, the organization stated.
"Consumers and lawmakers are increasingly aware that there is a thumb on the scale when they buy gasoline, even though they have no fairer alternative for purchasing it," said Dugan. "The Senate's hot fuel bill is a warning to oil companies, refiners and distributors of gasoline that they can either make gasoline sales honest themselves or be forced by the courts or government to do it."
The year-round temperature of fuel at the pump in California averages 74.5 degrees. At around $3 a gallon, 75 degree fuel could cost consumers 50 cents or more per fillup, according to the FTCR.
In other ExxonMobil news, the company's Green Team celebrated its 26th year in Dallas last week by presenting four newly-built homes in the Joppa neighborhood to their new owners.
The Green Team, made up of 100 high school students from the Dallas area, spent four weeks constructing the homes in conjunction with Dallas-Area Habitat for Humanity.
Supported by a $265,000 grant from the ExxonMobil Foundation, the Green Team gives high school students from low- to moderate-income homes the opportunity to earn money while learning needed skills to pursue a higher education. In addition to community service, the Green Team focuses on education through classes taught by college instructors at the ExxonMobil Academy at El Centro College. Participants can earn high school and college credits for math, reading, writing and computer literacy.
"One of the main goals of the ExxonMobil Green Team is to give students a foundation for success," Mark Boudreaux, corporate citizenship and community investments manager for ExxonMobil Corp., said in a statement. "The Green Team is not just a summer job; rather it is an opportunity for the young people involved to learn valuable life skills, get ahead in the classroom, and realize the value of community service. We hope that the varied experiences of the past eight weeks will empower students with the knowledge, motivation and skills they need to pursue a college education, achieve their dreams and enjoy successful futures."
Since its launch in 1981, ExxonMobil invested more than $6 million in the Dallas Green Team, including a $265,000 grant in 2007. With the completion of the 2007 program, the Green Team has reached more than 3,300 students, constructed 33 homes and completed several park improvements throughout Dallas. The Dallas program is a model for other Green Team programs in Torrance, Calif.; Chalmette, La.; Clinton, N.J.; Paulsboro, N.J.; Beaumont, Texas; Houston; and Arlington, Va.