An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
AS USELESS AS IT MAY BE to complain about high gasoline prices, nothing will stop us from doing it anyway. And no matter how much we complain, the reasons for wild fluctuations in prices at the pump will remain a mystery.
Yesterday, for example, gasoline in Kamloops varied by a full 10 cents per litre. More frustrating yet is the fact that this crazy range occurred within some of the same brands. At least one PetroCan station was selling a litre of regular for $1.84.9 while others posted their price as $1.94.9, which has been the more typical price over the past few days.
It wasn’t a case of one gas station catching up to another because the prices didn’t change over a period of several hours yesterday.
Indeed, one Chevron station was also selling at $1.84.9, which, of course, seemed like a bargain, especially when I’d filled up at the higher price the day before. And, guess what, another Chevron station was at $1.94.9.
Meanwhile, diesel, which I also need from time to time — well, forget about it. It’s eclipsed the $2.00 mark by a dime and continues to head for the stratosphere. It’s no consolation that — with some exceptions — prices are currently consistent elsewhere in our part of the southern Interior.
And that’s not all. In case you haven’t been paying attention, gas is expected to go up by another nickel this week and another nickel next week.
All the usual reasons are presented for why this is so: supply and demand, curtailment of exports, U.S. cuts to production, the war in Ukraine. (Kudos, by the way, to gasbuddy.com for including a link to the United for Ukraine charity donation drive.)
All of this leads us once again to the question of whether we should view these soaring gas prices as a major problem or an opportunity. Certainly, those with lower incomes are being hurt but it’s a fact that the only quick way to reduce gasoline consumption is to tax it to death or raise prices to the point that people drive less.
And that appears to be exactly what’s happening right now. Our pocketbooks may curse the upward trend but the planet may be saying thank you.
I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.