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House Approves Gasoline Octane Testing Bill Supported by AAA

SB 341 now returns to the Senate for Concurrence in House Amendments

HARRISBURG, Pa., Oct. 3, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, the state House of Representatives approved legislation (Senate Bill 341), sponsored by Senator Stewart Greenleaf (R-Bucks/Montgomery), authorizing the Department of Agriculture to conduct random and unannounced testing of octane levels in gasoline.

"With Pennsylvania being only 1 of 3 states without an octane testing program (Alaska and Nebraska being the others), AAA believes that Senate Bill 341 is a common sense consumer protection measure whose time has come," said Ted Leonard, Executive Director, Pennsylvania AAA Federation.  While the Department of Agriculture is required to annually inspect gas pumps for accuracy, it isn't authorized to test for levels of octane. In January 2007, the Pennsylvania Auditor General recommended that the state begin testing octane levels following an audit on retail gas pumps across the state. "Periodic, random and unannounced testing of octane levels, at the discretion of the Department, will protect Pennsylvania motorists from overpaying for improperly marked octane levels and for vehicle damage caused by contaminated gasoline," said Leonard.         

With gas prices spiking every few months, this consumer protection issue continues to be on the minds of Pennsylvania motorists. AAA, in a survey of its PA members, found that 83 percent support the creation of a fuel-testing program, which would be done by the same Weights and Measures inspectors who test to make sure drivers are getting a gallon of gas when the pump says so. Senator Greenleaf said, "Consumers should have state government assurance that they are getting what they pay for at the gas pump. With the economy underperforming and prices of food and gas rising, people need to be certain they are not getting short changed."

"AAA applauds Senator Greenleaf and Representative Joe Markosek (D-Westmoreland), who sponsored the House version of the legislation, for their bi-partisan leadership to move this legislation one step closer to becoming law," Leonard said. "House Agriculture & Rural Affairs Chairmen John Maher (R-Allegheny) and Joe Petrarca (D-Westmoreland) were also instrumental in getting this legislation through the House."

Senate Bill 341 now returns to the state Senate for a concurrence vote before it can be sent to the Governor for his consideration.

SOURCE Pennsylvania AAA Federation