Gas prices spotted at a Maple Ridge gas station in April. (Black Press Media files)

Oil companies, 24-cent gap between B.C., Alberta to be focus of gas price probe

Premier John Horgan called the spike in gas prices ‘alarming’

Oil companies will have to explain their gas prices as part of an investigation into B.C.’s soaring costs at the pump, the province says.

In a Tuesday morning news release, the province said the probe will include “compelling oil companies as witnesses to explain their prices to the commission.”

Premier John Horgan had initially called for the investigation in a May 7 letter to the B.C. Utilities Commission.

In it, Horgan asked for the commission to find out why wholesale – and pre-tax – prices are 24 cents higher in Vancouver than they are in Edmonton.

Tuesday saw gas prices reach 171.9 cents for a regular grade litre in Metro Vancouver. GasBuddy reports Edmonton prices at just 114.5 cents a litre.

READ MORE: 50% of B.C. drivers struggling financially amid high gas prices, poll says

Historically, the letter said, wholesale prices have been 2.5 to four cents more expensive in Vancouver.

“British Columbians want to know why refining margins are so much higher than in other parts of the country,” Horgan wrote.

“In March 2019, refining margins for Vancouver were more than double the Canadian average.”

Tuesday’s release said the commission will investigate fluctuations in gas prices, possible price fixing and gouging, as well as details in retail and wholesale prices between Vancouver and other North American cities.

“The rapid increase in gas prices in B.C. is alarming, increasingly out of line with the rest of Canada, and people in B.C. deserve answers,” said Horgan.

“We asked the BCUC to conduct a fair, transparent and comprehensive independent investigation. These terms provide the broad reach it needs to find answers and give recommendations to inform the path forward.”

READ MORE: BC Hydro powering up for more electric vehicle charging demand

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


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

All Nations Driving Academy gets $360K boost from province

Terrace-based driving school bridges gap in services for remote northwest B.C. communities

Skeena Watershed reopened for recreational pink and coho

Four sections and tributaries remain closed

Skeena-Bulkley Valley candidates react to finding Trudeau broke ethics law

The election campaign is heating up before the writ has even dropped

Burns Lake golfers to help end world hunger

Burns Lake residents will bring together charity and golf at the Grip… Continue reading

Houston area ski club proposes new community forest

Morice Mountain has ‘huge untapped potential’

VIDEO: Canadian zoos’ captive breeding programs help preserve endangered species

Programs considered last-ditch effort to prevent local extinctions of turtles, butterflies and more

Vancouver man arrested after pregnant woman’s SUV stolen, then crashed

Police are recommending charges against a 22-year-old Vancouver man

Elections Canada to assess ‘partisan’ climate change rhetoric case by case

People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier has said climate change is not an emergency nor caused by human

Unseasonable snow forces campers out of northeastern B.C. provincial park

Storm brought as much as 35 centimetres of snow to the Fort Nelson, Muncho Lake Park-Stone Mountain Park

B.C. log export rules killing us, northwest harvester says

NorthPac Forestry says Skeena Sawmills has plenty of timber

Environment groups warned saying climate change is real could be seen as partisan

Talk of climate change could be viewed as advocating against Maxime Bernier, the leader of the People’s Party of Canada

Search crews find 4-year-old boy who went missing near Mackenzie

George went missing early Saturday afternoon

Most Read