Re: ‘Alberta Refineries’ – a letter to the editor in the Dec. 22 edition of The NEWS written by Robert Tritschler.
Tritschler believes Alberta needs more refining. Not sure where he is getting his facts, but Alberta refineries (20 per cent of Canadian refining capacity; 10 per cent of the population) along with Saskatchewan refining already keep most of the western provinces in supply/demand balance. There are some imports/exports for sound economic reasons.
The about 15 oil product refiners (85 per cent of Canadian output) west of the Atlantic provinces will be a might surprised to hear that Irving Oil in New Brunswick (15 per cent) is the only one producing refined products (according to Tritschler).
Must have been dreaming during my years in the Canadian refining industry. Canada in total produces a clear surplus in refined products. Irving is actually a net exporter of more than half of its products to the U.S.
B.C. is short by about 75 per cent of its demand, much of that already supplied by Alberta via the latest eco-villain, the Kinder Morgan pipeline, and by rail and truck. But we in B.C. clearly don’t want to dirty our hands producing what we demand.
Great way to keep our carbon footprint low and let Alberta and others do our dirty work.
Putting more finished product refining in Alberta simply means it would then need to export all of its volumes (higher cost) back via rail or a B.C. port to the U.S. or far east markets.
On Tritschler’s concern for prices, I’m surprised he believes tax differences between the U.S. and Canada are of no consequence.
The difference between average retail prices in the U.S. northern states and Canada today is about 25-30 cents/litre (figures here are in Canadian dollars) and the average tax difference is 20 cents (before added carbon taxes).
There is an implication in Tritschler’s letter that if we had government controls, all would be better.
Perhaps like the 200 per cent of U.S. prices we pay for dairy and poultry products? Be careful what you wish for.