$1.37 per litre for gas this long weekend. Oil company apologists have absolutely abrogated any responsibility for this, outright gouging of Vancouver drivers.
The price of gas has plummeted from $100.00 plus in 2010 to a little more than $45.000 in 2017.
Gas prices in Vancouver at the peak of oil prices (when oil was $110.00 per barrel) was $1.50 per litre. The price of oil has dropped more than 50%, while the price of gas at the pump has dropped 13%.
Now that oil prices are down more than 50% of 2010 levels, one would think gas at the pump would be about $.75 per litre or so.
But clearly, we don’t understand the sophisticated pressures on oil companies.
I see a hurriedly called brainstorming session of gas suppliers to come up with more creative excuses for their long weekend cash grab.
- We’ve used the Cherry Point refinery’s having a particularly difficult maintenance period – can’t use that old chestnut.
- We’ve blamed unrest in Venezuela – a couple of rebels feeling a bit lathered. But we kind of like these latest rebels ( they are against a left wing government), and that was a weak excuse anyway.
- We’ve carefully explained that Vancouver’s oil comes predominantly from the U.S. ,so the demand is greater, except in Abbotsford and Silverdale who can quite easily sell gas at 15 cents cheaper to compete with their local American gas competition. No one believes that one anymore.
- We’ve explained ad nauseum about the added gas tax we pay ( damn guvmn’t) but that’s dangerous because if anyone actually looks at the gas tax paid they would see that Vancouverites pay 11 cents more than other BC jurisdictions, while our gas prices are 30 or 40 cents higher, and even more on long weekends. They might also notice that gas taxes aren’t moving up on long weekends. We’d better gloss over that excuse.
- We’ve tried patiently explaining that sometimes we buy too much inventory at a higher price and so prices can’t go down until that inventory is use up. Unfortunately, we never buy too much when the price is lower so any excuse for an increase is immediately reflected in the price at the pump- so , people are becoming wary of that line.
- We’ve used the lower Canadian dollar excuse haven’t we? But that doesn’t explain why it’s just Vancouver we choose to punish each long weekend.
“ Come on people, think outside the box…”
We need a new excuse – a beauty, one we haven’t trotted out before, one that will explain why perennially low oil prices are never reflected in Vancouver prices and why we jack up prices at the pump every long weekend as high as we can crank them.
“I know”, says a small, ambitious voice in the background.
” We can say that the upcoming eclipse is causing an increased demand for gas, and that’s why the price went up ten cents on this particular long weekend!”
“Surely they’re not that stupid, are they?”
Well, if they swallowed the Cherry Point Maintenance excuse, they’ll believe anything”
“OK. Brilliant” says the brainstorming circle.
“Right, Sally, you work up some nonsense on the eclipse – once in a lifetime , people will be driving everywhere, demand up, yada yada. Throw in a mention of high taxes and we’ll get someone who is an “industry expert” to trot it out ASAP. And we’ll get that reporter, what’s her name again? She’ll make it sound objective.
“Don’t forget everybody, the excuse this time is :“
“Eclipse causing high demand, high gas taxes because of Mayor Moonbeam, and it’s too complicated to expect prices at the pump to match the international price of a barrel of oil “ (that is, unless the price of oil goes up, in which case there’s an absolute relationship between oil prices and prices at the pump)”
“OK. Get out there and crank up those gas prices – we’ve only got another 10 years or so to gouge the bastards – oh and remember, we’re not colluding”
Bunch of thieves! Why do we put up with it? Maybe it’s time to dredge up the old “boycott one chain” a week at a time to get their attention. Don’t announce who it will be until Friday at 5:00 pm.
I’m travelling right now. Gas in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba is all under a buck. Mid eighties in Winnipeg!
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