Oil companies are cut to the bone already

By all means sharpen your knife, but oil companies are down to the bone.

In his letter to the editor (The NEWS, Jan. 12), Jack Bickert blames Big Oil and their local agents for high Island gas prices. The dip in light crude from $100 to $43 Cdn. (Jan. 18) should have dropped gas prices by about 30 cents a litre after allowing for refinery yields, which is what has happened in the intervening period ($1.40 before the crash; $1.10 now), so the gas price drop is in line with crude price drop. Not much room for complaint there. Gas stations publish their prices on high neon signs; equal pricing is “meeting the competition.” There will be price leaders and followers.

In Courtenay there appears to be a big-box-store price leader, often offering low gas prices to get folks in the store. There are times when you can save 10 cents per litre, but also times when the price is the same as Parksville, give or take a cent. In our experience, you can gain a price advantage many, but not all times.

We check Courtenay prices when there for other reasons and have had rewarding fill ups.

However, a special trip will burn seven litres there and back ($8 or so), making the $6 “saving in the tank” a pretty bad deal. We’ve got enough of those in the equity market. And you’ll not impress the anthropogenic global warming believers by frivolous fossil fuel consumption.

Contrast the free market oil pricing with B.C. Hydro. A recent issue of The NEWS lists increases in Hydro of 15 per cent in just two years (2014 -2015) and many more increases to come. Has the cost of water flowing over the dams and in the rivers increased by that much?

By all means sharpen your knife, but oil companies are down to the bone.

Len FlintQualicum Beach

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