Not only is it freezing outside, gasoline prices jumped by more than ten cents per litre just before Christmas to add a little extra to everyone's holiday bills.
"All of Western Canada's gasoline is based on the Chicago Spot Market and last week we saw two refineries there shut in or had production issues that caused about a 32 cents a gallon increase," explained Dan McTeague of GasBuddy.com, which monitors pump prices around the country. "That's enough for a 12 cent across the board increase for us here in Canada: that's starting to come down about a penny a day or so."
The price of regular gas in Drumheller stood at $1.149 as of this morning, although it's as low as $1.059 at some Calgary gas stations and even lower in the Edmonton area.
"This is what we call retail margin games, I call it gas bar shenanigans," added McTeague. "The wholesale price for every station pretty much from Central Alberta all the way to the (US) border is about $1.03 to buy the fuel, so you can't be settling for $1.06 or $1.07 and hold on."
McTeague thinks market speculators and refiners grabbed most of the profits from the latest price hike, but he notes the next one, next Monday, January 1, can be blamed entirely on the government's new carbon tax.
"It works out to 7.07 (cents/gallon) with GST," he told 99.5 Drum FM. "You were paying 4.49 plus GST, now it's up to 6.73 plus GST, so a net increase of about two cents a litre and that is a permanent increase, at least for the next year or two, at which point they start to raise it even higher."