Getting gas will cost more in Lower Mainland this weekend; put off that road trip | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Getting gas will cost more in Lower Mainland this weekend; put off that road trip

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June 24, 2021 - 10:35 AM

Gas prices are indeed on the rise but for the time being motorists in the Okanagan and Kamloops area are going to be spared from spilling cash at the pumps.

The Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island are facing costs of $1.69 a litre at the pump, but that's $0.20 a litre more than the Southern Interior, Dan McTeague, president of an organization called Canadians for Affordable Energy, said.

The refineries of supply for the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island are one in Edmonton, there's a small refinery at Parkland in Burnaby, and there are several refineries in Washington State.

"One of those four refineries in Ferndale, Washington ran into trouble last week and that's why we've seen a rise in prices," McTeague explained.

That prompted a big jump in the wholesale price of gas.

"As a result of that the spot price for gasoline in the Pacific Northwest market which is governed by the Washington State refineries has shot up to about $2.55 to $2.56 a gallon," he said. "Before there was a problem, it was about $2.20, a gallon so it's up $0.35 cents a gallon."

McTeague said it's the highest price he's seen on the spot market going back to 2014.

"Frankly, you don't have quite the same problem as Vancouver does," he said.

While these specific market issues may not impact Thompson-Okanagan motorists in the same way, McTeague said he knows many people don't think the current local price at the pump is something to sniff at.

"A lot of people are complaining in the Okanagan that $1.42 is nothing to be happy about and to a large extent that's true," he said. "Last year and this year you had an increase of one cent on your carbon tax. There's also been an increase in your hidden carbon tax."

McTeague said that the low carbon fuel standard is a tax that's been around since 2015 and is not often spoken about.

"Those carbon credits now used to be three or four cents on a litre," he said. "The varied refiner had to pay to get lower to achieve trade or offsets from people that have, are producing with zero emissions."

Bottom line, he said, the two taxes add 14 cents a litre and without gas would be $1.33 to $1.34.

He added that oil is still being traded at $73 to $74 a barrel and the dollar is stronger, which historically should have downward pressure on gas prices.

"But there's a concern that this summer we'll be seeing, you know, prices move here in the valley throughout the entire region at $1.50 a litre," he said. "That would be almost unprecedented."

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