Gasoline pumps are the latest targets of suspicion as public and political anxiety mounts over record-high gas prices, reports the Detroit Free Press. Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm on Tuesday ordered the immediate hiring of 10 more gas pump inspectors to assure that motorists aren’t cheated by pumps that give them tainted gasoline or less than their money’s worth.
The state Department of Agriculture will spend $1.3 million to eventually hire 16 inspectors in coming months. That will double the number of inspectors through next year. And today, a House joint meeting will hear testimony on whether gas stations are tweaking profits illegally. House Republicans are backing bills to increase fines for gas stations that shortchange customers or misrepresent the octane level of gas from their pumps. The hearing has ruffled gas retailers, who say they believe they are scapegoats for the price of gas.