Gasoline prices have hit record levels in Parksville, reaching to $1.70 a litre in Metro Vancouver where transit taxes are highest in B.C. (Black Press Media)

More gasoline, less bitumen in Trans Mountain pipeline, B.C. premier urges Trudeau

John Horgan asks B.C. Utilities Commission to investigate why B.C. drivers pay more

B.C. Premier John Horgan has urged Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to use the Alberta-B.C. pipeline he bought to help drivers get past a period of record gasoline prices.

Horgan said he reminded Trudeau about the changing products of the Trans Mountain pipeline, which transports refined fuels, light crude and diluted bitumen from the Edmonton area to port and refinery facilities in Burnaby and Washington state.

“I laid out for him my concerns about the inordinate spike in retail gas prices in B.C., which was not connected to any policy decision, it just seemed to be, in my opinion, gouging,” Horgan told reporters at the B.C. legislature Tuesday.

“I said I was disappointed to see so much diluted bitumen coming into the existing pipe at the expense of refined product. He understood that. He talked about the National Energy Board processes [still ongoing after a court decision delaying the expansion] and he concluded that he would ask his officials to take a look.”

Horgan also released a letter he sent to the B.C. Utilities Commission, which regulates monopoly power rates and vehicle insurance, asking the independent agency to examine gasoline prices.

“The wholesale price of gasoline, which does not have fuel taxes, retail sales and carbon tax added to it, had historically been 2.5-4 cents a litre more expensive in Vancouver than in Edmonton – which reasonably reflected the cost of transporting refined products from Edmonton to Vancouver,” the letter to BCUC chair David Morton states.

The wholesale gap began to widen four years ago and has “exploded” in the past two months, reaching nearly 24 cents a litre.

READ MORE: Horgan says gasoline price spike is profit taking

READ MORE: B.C. Liberals put up ‘blame Horgan’ billboards

“British Columbians want to know why refining margins are so much higher than in other parts of the country,” the letter says. “In March 2019, refining margins for Vancouver were more than double the Canadian average and higher than any other major city in North America.”

Horgan emphasized that he wants the commission to establish “a common set of facts” about the profits of refiners in Alberta and the U.S.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislature

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19 highlights lack of connectivity in First Nations communities

Many don’t have access required to utilize online platforms, says First Nations Technology Council

Salmon closures announced for Skeena and Nass watersheds

DFO notice expands on May 21 chinook ban throughout Skeena watershed

New traffic lanes for Six Mile west of Burns Lake coming soon

Construction to begin on lane extension and traffic improvement

Chamber names new board for 2020

And emphasizes that Houston is open for business

Houston to host high speed electric vehicle charging station

It will be installed and paid for by BC Hydro

COVID-19: B.C. commercial landlords can’t evict if they decline rent assistance

Emergency order ‘incentive’ for federal program, Carole James says

Investigators probe death of CN employee at Surrey rail yard

Transportation Safety Board is investigating an ‘occurrence that took place during switching operations’

Trans Mountain starts B.C. leg of pipeline twinning project

Mostly finished in Alberta, Burnaby terminal expanding

NDP getting COVID-19 wage subsidy ‘indirectly,’ B.C. Liberal leader says

Andrew Wilkinson says he’s heard no concerns from public

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

Love flourishes at Peace Arch Park, but COVID-19 concerns loom

South Surrey park becomes only place for international couples to meet

Most Read