Gasoline prices underline need for new refinery

150 150 Don MacLachlan

That was the conclusion a newspaper columnist reported after big jumps in BC gas prices, attributed to the inability of current refineries to provide enough gas at the time.

In Victoria, columnist Jack Knox told readers of the Times Colonist newspaper on March 31:

“The price jumped seven cents a litre in a single day, to $1.319 from $1.249. If we try harder, maybe we can hit No. 2 next week. “

Knox went on to note: “B.C. used to have seven refineries but now has just two, the Chevron facility in Burnaby and a smaller one operated by Husky in Prince George. Having allowed most of our refineries to disappear, we rely on four big ones in Washington.”

And he quoted Dan McTeague at, a website that tracks gas prices across North America.

“’They’re willing to produce gas for us, but at a price,’ McTeague says. ‘We pay a pretty steep premium because of our inability to produce enough in our own backyard.

“‘As buyers, we’re in a weak position,’ McTeague says. If we balk, the refiners will simply sell the same gas to customers in San Francisco and Los Angeles.”

The Vancouver Sun reported on April 2:

“Prices were as high as $1.42.9 at dozens of gas stations Sunday from Vancouver to Surrey, Coquitlam and Maple Ridge. That is a 13-cent price hike from just a week ago, and 29 cents more than what motorists paid a year ago.

“And the reason? There’s not enough of it, according to Dan McTeague.”

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