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.

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

Just Posted

Council gives OK to Abbotsford’s first four cannabis outlets

Three must still get provincial government approval & government-run stores have face delays

Suspect escapes after police pursuit through Surrey, Langley, Abbotsford

Police chase involved two stolen vehicles, including one taken in Mission

Rotary Book Sale moves from Chilliwack Mall to Heritage Park

The hugely-popular book sale is going ahead Oct. 25-31 with pandemic protocols in place

Several Abbotsford schools record COVID-19 exposures in October

Two secondary schools, one middle school and two elementary schools have virus exposure

Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival cancelled – for good

Organizers say the event was so popular that too many people were attending to be sustainable

Green leader Sonia Furstenau promises to convert BC Ferries back into Crown corporation

Promise comes Monday afternoon with five days left in campaign

Police watchdog concludes Mounties didn’t shoot Surrey teen at strip mall

IIO finds tragic death of teenager ‘not the result of any actions or inactions’ by the Surrey RCMP

Canada ‘yet to see’ deaths due to recent COVID surge as cases hit 200,000

Much of the increase in case numbers can be attributed to Ontario and Quebec

Human remains found in recycling bin floating near Vancouver beach

Police asking nearby residents to see if their recycling bin has gone missing

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Trial dates set in White Rock manslaughter case

Proceedings against Ross Banner, 71, set for June 2021 in Surrey Provincial Court

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Glasgow found not guilty of trying to murder transit cop in Surrey

Transit Police Constable Josh Harms was shot Jan. 30, 2019 at Scott Road SkyTrain Station

Most Read