Drivers bracing for record-high gas prices in B.C.
Published Saturday, March 31, 2018 1:34PM EDT
The price of gas in British Columbia will continue pushing to record highs as a new carbon tax and a seasonal change exacerbate a “chronic shortage,” according to a leading expert.
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GasBuddy.com analyst Dan McTeague is calling for gas prices in Metro Vancouver to top the current $1.57 per litre record, reaching $1.61 per litre near the end of next week.
Starting Sunday, the first of four annual increases to the province’s carbon tax will add 1.22 cents to the cost of a litre of gas. B.C. Premier John Horgan said he doesn’t believe drivers will “begrudge that penny,” knowing it’s been earmarked to fund green initiatives.
McTeague said that hike alone will push prices to as much as $1.56 per litre.
“The pain isn’t over yet,” he told CTV Vancouver on Friday. “In about seven to eight days, we transition from winter to summer gasoline. That will add four cents a litre.”
According to McTeague, gasoline supply in the region continues to be choked by a lack of pipeline capacity and a refinery that is shut down for maintenance.
“That is creating a chronic shortage,” he said. “The only solution left really for Vancouver (is) it has to wake up. It has to recognize the only way to get more gasoline down there is the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.”
Ottawa approved Kinder Morgan’s $7.4-billion pipeline expansion in 2016, but the project faces significant opposition in B.C. The provincial government has raised concerns about environmental safety and economic impact.
“Those who don’t like high prices shouldn’t be opposing Kinder Morgan,” McTeague said. “That’s really the only solution at hand for Vancouver.”
Thousands of anti-pipeline demonstrators have rallied near Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain work site in Burnaby in recent months.
Meanwhile, tempers are flaring over Horgan’s apparent lack of empathy for those forced to pay more to fill up.
“Gas prices are some of the most expensive in the world, much less anywhere else in the country,” said one driver. “That's completely ridiculous.”
With a report from CTV Vancouver’s Ben Miljure