By Audrey Esther, News9.com INsite Team
It's the state corporation commission's job to keep an eye on our state's oil and gas industry. Now the commission has made it easier for Oklahoman's to keep an eye on local gas stations. With the click of a mouse Oklahomans can know if their neighborhood gas station is violating the law.
"For the first time in state history information on gas stations and how they're doing on behalf of selling their product is now made available online," Corporation Commissioner Jim Roth said.
Roth revealed the commission's online database of out-of-compliance gas stations during a press conference Monday in Piedmont. The public can visit the Web site database to see if gas stations are compliant with commission rules. During the last year the commission cited more than 5,000 stations.
"It is our responsibility to ensure that Oklahomans receive what they pay for at the pump," Roth said. "Citizens have a right to know where the price gougers are and our agency has a duty to share this information."
The commission's 23 fuel inspectors perform calibration tests on more than 3,500 gas stations across the state. During a calibration test a pump must be within minus six cubic inches, or about six tablespoons, of a five gallon measure. Operators who fail the test are given 24 hours to comply before the pump is locked down. Pumps exceeding 19 cubic inches are locked down immediately. Since July 2007, the commission locked down more than 300 stations.
Fuel inspectors also check gas for octane rating, water, ethanol content and compliance with safety and environmental rules. All of this information is now available in the database.
"The great majority of the violations are associated with calibration. A pump that is actually not dispensing the full gallon that it was claiming to the public it was selling," Roth said. "Leaks and environmental concerns are good reasons for violations as well."