Turning inner space into outer space

February 25, 2011

Helpless to fight the gas gouging

Now that prices at the pumps have been jacked up by a good 15 cents, pretty much everyone knows about the turmoil in Libya. We know about it because that’s the excuse oil companies are giving for gouging us. Reaction from motorists we talked to on Thursday ranged from skepticism to outright accusations of fraud.

Let’s just say that, given the evidence, it’s hard to believe that gas prices would have to go up so much and so soon. Canada is one of the world’s top oil exporters. Canada does import some of its oil but, according to Liberal MP Dan McTeague, we do not import any from Libya. Shouldn’t Canada be sheltered from this storm?

About the best argument you can make in favour of higher gas prices is that the price of oil is set by international markets on a per-barrel basis across the board. So if the price of a barrel of oil goes over $100, then it affects everyone.

The main problem I have have with this is that it doesn’t work both ways. It wasn’t that long ago that there was a slump in oil prices on the international market. But you never would have known it here. Prices at the pumps stayed stubbornly high. It seems we could have a golden era world peace and gas stations would still find excuses to charge us more.

The most frustrating part of this whole thing is the sense of powerlessness. Some drivers are angry, others are resigned to their fate. And not one of us has a solution.