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.

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

Just Posted

Ktunaxa, supporters celebrate protection of Qat’muk and the Jumbo valley

Speeches, acknowledgements and ceremonies mark an emotional gathering in Cranbrook

Smoke Eaters defeat Centennials on Hockey Day in Trail

The Trail Memorial Centre showcased an exciting line up on Saturday during Hockey Day in Trail

Jumbo Valley to be protected, ending decades-long dispute over proposed ski resort

Development rights permanently retired for site of proposed year-round ski resort west of Invermere

After cashing in on QB gambles, Chiefs and 49ers to clash in Super Bowl

KC beats Tennessee, San Francisco dispatches Green Bay to reach NFL title game

B.C. VIEWS: Few clouds on Horgan’s horizon

Horgan’s biggest challenge in the remainder of his term will be to keep the economy humming along

Victoria family focuses on ‘letting go, enjoying time together’ after dad gets dementia

Walter Strauss has developed an interest in music and now takes line dancing classes

B.C. forest industry grasps for hope amid seven-month strike, shutdowns, changes

Some experts say this could be worse for forestry than the 2008 financial crisis

Northern B.C. RCMP investigating alleged sexual assault in downtown Smithers

One person was transported by ambulance to hospital following RCMP investigation at Sedaz

UBC, Iranian-Canadian community create memorial scholarship in honour of victims

The Jan. 8 crash killed 176 people, including 57 Canadians

Disrespectful that Horgan won’t meet during northern B.C. tour: hereditary chief

Na’moks said he was frustrated Horgan didn’t meet with the chiefs

Most Read