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Letters: It’s time for the provincial government to address gasoline prices

Let’s get some sanity back into retail gasoline prices.
Gas prices


Enough is enough. The incredible distortion of gasoline prices at the pump in British Columbia borders on collusion and criminal. There is no need for the citizens of British Columbia to have to go through a constant agony of price increases price decreases on a product that is essentially a commodity.

In the Maritimes, specifically Prince Edward Island, there is a provincial price regulatory body that monitors the price of gasoline at the pump and allows increases or decreases only twice a month. This allows the economy, businesses, and every day people to budget and go about their lives without the fear and distress of not knowing what it’s going to cost to drive their trucks and their cars.

Most people do not realize how gasoline is distributed in North America, my dad was in the oil business all his life, and was always amazed at how much money the oil industry made when a barrel of oil cost only five dollars and it held 45 imperial gallons. That barrel of oil has increase or decrease from five dollars to the $150 and up and down constantly in the last 20 years.

Today oil prices are absolutely ridiculous and are based on nothing more than agreed. One of the scariest phrases in our society is when a company uses the term! Enhancing shareholder value.

To the public what this really means is these companies couldn’t care less about their customers it doesn’t matter they’re cannon fodder in the ongoing collusion of price per litre of gasoline. If this was an open competitive market, do you really think all retail gas stations would have the same price not likely, but when they’re dipping into the same vat of oil as all of them, then the collusion has come home full circle.

North American gasoline is pumped into what’s called the grid, the grid composed of almost 3,000,000 miles not km, miles of pipeline oil is pumped through stations like Anacortes or Woodside, Nova Scotia or Portland Maine you name it it’s pumped into the grid goes to the refineries gets converted into many products and is delivered throughout the continent via the pipelines. It takes 90 days to empty the pipeline grid, so when you see gasoline, price is going up and down daily weekly or monthly it is total greed, the reality is if oil prices go up five per cent from the supplier prices should not move for at least 90 days because all the product in the grid is at the old price. The government for some reason doesn’t understand the oil business.

Let’s take the oil business to task, when companies like Exxon are making $40 billion worth of profit and the government is taking in billions of dollars of excess tax , the only person who loses is the consumer

I say to everyone start calling your MLA in Victoria. Start calling your federal MP in Ottawa. Start pounding your message on Facebook, Twitter, tick-tock. Start going after these politicians because they are the problem. They are allowing these oil companies to take advantage of everyone.

Let’s get some sanity back into retail gasoline prices.

The solution is relatively simple make it a standing order in B.C. that retail gasoline prices can only move twice a month and no more than two or three per cent and before they move we need real world real cost justification not greed.

Barrie McDonald