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)

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

K-J Millar/The Northern View
8 confirmed COVID-19 deaths in the Northern Health Authority

Since Nov. 27, there have been 191 new cases reported in NHA

A coal-fired power plant seen through dense smog from the window of an electric bullet train south of Beijing, December 2016. China has continued to increase thermal coal production and power generation, adding to greenhouse gas emissions that are already the world’s largest. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
LNG featured at B.C. energy industry, climate change conference

Hydrogen, nuclear, carbon capture needed for Canada’s net-zero goal

Victoria’s Royal Jubilee Hospital took in two COVID-19 patients from Northern Health as part of a provincial agreement. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria hospital takes in two COVID-19 patients from Northern Health

Royal Jubilee Hospital takes patients as part of provincial transport network

An aerial shot of Cedar Valley Lodge this past August, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers. This is where several employees are isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared on Nov. 19. (Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
52 positive COVID-19 cases now associated with LNG Canada site outbreak

Eight cases still active, 44 considered recovered

Salvation Army file photo
Salvation Army kettle drive begins Nov. 28

Hamper demand has accelerated this year

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Another 694 diagnosed with COVID-19 in B.C. Thursday

Three more health care outbreaks, 12 deaths

Melissa David, of Parachutes for Pets and her dogs Hudson and Charlie are trying to raise money for a homeless shelter that will allow pets and are seen in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘My only wish:’ Children asking pet charity to help their furry friends at Christmas

Parachutes for Pets says it has received 14 letters from children in the last week t

Melissa Velden and her chef-husband Chris Velden, stand in their dining room at the Flying Apron Inn and Cookery in Summerville, N.S. on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. The couple is hosting holiday parties with appropriate distancing and other COVID-19 health protocols in place at their restaurant. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Celebrities, Santa and Zoom part of office holiday parties being held amid COVID-19

Many will send tokens of appreciation to workers or offer time off or cash

A demonstrator wears representations of sea lice outside the Fisheries and Oceans Canada offices in downtown Vancouver Sept. 24, demanding more action on the Cohen Commission recommendations to protect wild Fraser River sockeye. (Quinn Bender photo)
First Nations renew call to revoke salmon farm licences

Leadership council implores use of precautionary principle in Discovery Islands

Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps poses for a photo with his parents Amanda Sully and Adam Deschamps in this undated handout photo. Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps was the first baby in Canada to be diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy through Ontario’s newborn screening program. The test was added to the program six days before he was born. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Children’s Hospital Eastern Ontario *MANDATORY CREDIT*
First newborn tested for spinal muscular atrophy in Canada hits new milestones

‘If Aidan had been born any earlier or anywhere else our story would be quite different’

(Pixabay)
Canadians’ mental health has deteriorated with the second wave, study finds

Increased substance use one of the ways people are coping

An RCMP officer confers with military rescuers outside their Cormorant helicopter near Bridesville, B.C. Tuesday, Dec. 1. Photo courtesy of RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey
Good Samaritan helped Kootenay police nab, rescue suspect which drew armed forces response

Midway RCMP said a Good Samaritan helped track the suspect, then brought the arresting officer dry socks

Most Read