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

Fraser Lake business offers equine therapy to deal with life stressors

The idea is to have diverse businesses that provide more options to residents and tourists says Kim Watt-Senner

Smithers man receives two-year sentence for fatal car crash

Over a year after a fatal crash, a Smithers man has been sentenced to two years plus a day in jail.

First Nations push for massive conservation area in northern B.C.

Includes ancestral areas of three Kaska Dena First Nations, just shy of the B.C.-Yukon border

Tahltan reach benefits agreement over Seabridge’s massive KSM gold mine project

$308M agreement provides additional billions for Tahltan jobs, contracts

B.C. court to mull continuing order against Coastal Gaslink pipeline opponents

Coastal GasLink was granted an interim injunction in December following arrests and protests

VIDEO: Trans Mountain expansion project gets green light, again

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the decision in Ottawa on Tuesday afternoon

MPs hear retired B.C. nurse’s petition to change compensation for fatal medical errors

Teri McGrath wants provinces to implement no-fault system for medical errors

Horgan says he’ll still defend B.C. coast after second Trans Mountain approval

Meanwhile, one B.C. First Nation has announced plans for a legal challenge

Demonstrators on either side of Trans Mountain debate clash in Vancouver

Crowd heard from member of Indigenous-led coalition that hopes to buy 51% of expansion project

Grieving B.C. mom hopes Facebook message leads to new investigation into son’s Surrey homicide

Criminal Justice Branch didn’t lay charges, concluding no substantial likelihood of murder or manslaughter conviction

B.C.’s measles vaccination program gains traction in May

More than 15,000 doses of the MMR vaccine has been administered across the province

B.C. farmers concerned Agricultural Land Reserve changes choking their livelihood

Dozens voice concerns at special meeting hosted on Vancouver Island

UPDATE: Two-year-old involved in Chilliwack pool drowning has died

Toddler was reported to not be breathing as air ambulance called out Thursday afternoon

Family frustrated Terrace dad with advanced cancer must wait weeks for treatment

‘We can see his health declining every day,’ daughter says

Most Read