The gas and diesel wholesalers and retailers say they’re not in cahoots and they blame high fuel prices on other factors.
Economists say there is not enough competition and they doubt the industry’s honesty.
It is up to the British Columbia Utilities Commission to sort this out. But it only has until Aug. 30 and it can’t examine the impact of taxes at the pump.
Last week, it was the hearing stage of the BCUC’s fast-track inquiry, which was called by Premier John Horgan in May.
On this edition of theBreaker.news Podcast, listen to highlights of testimony by Krista Friesen, vice-president of downstream business and operations for Calgary-based Husky Energy, and economists Robyn Allan and Marc Eliesen. The former B.C. Crown corporation heads from the 1990s are among Canada’s foremost analysts and critics of the oil and gas industry.
Friesen explained how Husky sets prices and blamed unique B.C. cost drivers like real estate and minimum wage.
Allan said the market is failing because of a lack of competition. Fellow intervener Eliesen said suppliers are not transparent or accountable. They say the BCUC should be mandated to regulate gas and diesel prices.
“High prices have negative implications for B.C. consumers and businesses because they disproportionately increase spending on refined products, reducing spending on other products and services, they disproportionately harm the B.C. economy,” Eliesen said.
Plus, Pacific Northwest and Pacific Rim headlines and commentaries. And, when he hosted the president of the European Union, did Prime Minister Justin Trudeau really say the NBA champion Toronto Raptors are from Montreal? Listen for yourself.
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