The price of gas surged to a record high of $1.56.9 per litre in many gas stations in the Cowichan Valley as of April 12, and it’s not expected to stop there.
Gas has already risen to a staggering $1.68.9 in gas stations in Vancouver as of Friday, and $1.64.9 in Victoria, also with no end in sight.
Gasing up his Ford pick-up truck at a Duncan gas station on the Trans Canada Highway Friday morning, Doug Norman said he wanted to fill his tank with the relatively cheap gas in Duncan before he heads to Victoria.
“This is really getting ridiculous,” he said.
“They always come up with a million and one reasons why gas prices are rising, but everyone knows it’s really all about greed and the oil companies lining their pockets. I’d say I can’t wait for electric cars to take over, but I’m sure we’ll end up having to buy the electricity to run them from the same companies.”
Dan McTeague, a senior petroleum analyst at GasBuddy, which monitors fuel pricing information and data, said the meteoric rise in gas prices on Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland is the end result of a number of contributing factors.
He said one is the ongoing refinery maintenance and shutdowns at six American facilities in Washington state and California that help supply B.C.’s gas market, which has curtailed the supply of gas available in the region and driven up prices.
As well, McTeague said the mandatory requirements from April until mid-September for more expensive gas blends that are less susceptible to evaporation in hot weather is also a factor in the rising prices.
“Refiners must add more expensive components as part of their fuel processing (during the hotter months), a cost that is inevitably passed on to motorists,” he said.
“The switch over and the accompanying price increase aren’t always easy, but its positive contribution to the environment and health in mitigating ground level ozone.”
McTeague said the price of oil, which is used in manufacturing gasoline, has also had an impact on rising fuel costs, albeit a smaller role than refinery maintenance and the transition to summer gasoline.
“OPEC countries along with Russia have continued to limit their oil output in an effort to boost prices, which have recently risen to a four-month high,” he said.
“Ongoing turmoil in Venezuela is also playing a role in rising oil prices, thanks to a near country-wide electricity outage that curbed the country’s ability to export crude oil.”
In addition, McTeague said British Columbia has recently added another one cent to its current carbon tax, for a total carbon levy of over 9 cents per litre.
“It won’t be a summer to remember at the pump, thanks to the myriad of tax increases that will cost Canadians more every fill-up,” he said.