A Solution for Fuel Pumps That Stop at $3.99

The price gauges on some mechanical fuel pumps don't go higher than $3.99, but the price of diesel has soared way past that, forcing some gas stations to shut down diesel pumps while they figure out what to do. Washington state has a solution: Stations can sell diesel by the half-gallon, as long as they post big signs.

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STEVE INSKEEP, host:

And today's last word in business is a way to cut the price of fuel - sort of. It involves those analog fuel pumps. These are not the electronic ones where you can swipe your credit card. These are the old fashioned pumps with the numbers written out on little wheels that turn as the price goes up. Seems that mechanical pumps that still exist are having a problem keeping up with rapidly increasing fuel prices. Some of them were manufactured at a time when it was impossible to even imagine fuel costing more than $3.99. That's as high as the numbers will go. The price of diesel has soared way past that amount, which has been forcing some gas station owners to shut down their diesel pumps while they figure out what to do.

But there is a solution in the state of Washington, which is where state officials are telling station owners they can sell diesel by the half gallon now, as long as they post really big signs. So finally a way to make fuel look cheap once again.

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