Policy Studies Competition Policy

Regulating Fuel Delivery

Key Points

The automotive fuel market is decentralizing. Better environmental regulation of fuel tanks and changing economics have given rise to a market for delivery of gasoline for cars and trucks.
A decentralized fuel market struggles with existing rules designed around traditional gas stations and stationary fuel depots. New entrants face many layers of approval from state agencies, fire and air quality districts, and local government officials.
States stand to gain by harmonizing transportation and delivery rules across space. This would allow the automotive fuel market to evolve in response to changing technology and consumer demand.

“Different areas of California have different fire risks, so legislators designed fire rules to reflect that. Normally, this does not cause many headaches, as most of the codes are similar enough not to matter much. But, for certain industries that operate across fire districts, building construction and transportation particularly, the costs of a patchwork of similar-but-sometimes-different fire codes can quickly grow to cost-prohibitive levels.”

Press release: R Street Policy Study No. 185: Regulating Fuel Delivery

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