When a consumer goes to the gas pump to fill up; they are assuming what they are paying for is gasoline. In Ohio, that's a big assumption. Because Ohio has no regulatory program to test and ensure the quality of gasoline, Ohioans are using blind luck at the pump.
Nearly six billion gallons of fuel are sold per year in Ohio, the fourth largest consumer state in the nation. Yet, Ohio is one of only four states without any regulatory authority to test fuel quality.
Over the past several years, the Ohio Department of Agriculture has commissioned three independent tests to sample the quality of Ohio's fuel. The results of these tests indicate unacceptable failure levels in fuel quality.
Montgomery County Auditor Karl Keith and the County Auditors Association of Ohio have been lobbying state legislators to put into place a system to assure that people are getting what they pay for at the pump. A fuel quality testing program will have direct benefit to consumers. The Ohio Department of Agriculture would develop and provide training and statewide certification to Weights and Measures employees who are currently out in the field testing the accuracy of the quantity of gasoline. With new legislation and training, inspectors could test the quality as well.
Since the same inspectors would be enlisted to draw samples to test for fuel quality, the cost of implementing a statewide program is small. The program being proposed would not be fee based and would require no new taxes. The expense of the program would be from the state's general revenue within the Department of Agriculture.
Consumers have a right to know what they are putting in their vehicles. Montgomery County Auditor Karl Keith wants to ensure that it is gasoline.