Not exactly half price

Item by Chris Graham

Great. Now gas stations that don’t have fours on their pumps can sell us gas for $4 and more a gallon.


Gov. Tim Kaine issued an executive order on Friday granting a temporary waiver to gas retailers giving them the ability to use the practice called half-pricing on older analog pumps that are technically unable to register a price above $3.99 a gallon.

State law requires that pumps reflect the full price per gallon, which would put station owners with pumps that can’t register prices above $3.99 a gallon in a bind. The private sector is attempting to address the situation, but there has been a backlog of orders of special kits that have been designed to address the quandary that nobody would have thought to have been necessary even a year ago.

“With approximately 1,800 analog display pumps still being used by about 840 retailers in Virginia, this is an issue that has an economic impact on every part of the state,” Kaine said. “Retailers must order upgrades to their old pumps but this exemption will allow consumers to continue purchasing motor fuel at their customary stations while the upgrades are installed.”

The waiver issued by Kaine last week allows stations to register the cost of a half-gallon at the pump.

Retailers have to pursue the upgrades and utilize appropriate signage to notify customers to qualify for the waiver.

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