VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – While the British Utilities Commission is advancing with the review of rising gas prices in the province, an expert says that cutting provincial fuel taxes is not on the table – and does not think that the review will accomplish much
David Austin, a lawyer and energy analyst in Vancouver, says the best long-term solution to lower gas prices is building an oil refinery in B.C., Washington or even in Alberta.
And Austin says it probably won't happen.
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"I can't see anyone wanting to invest at least a billion dollars for a new refinery in British Columbia because there are electric vehicles coming from the hill," he says. "They are on the market, they are available and represent a valid alternative to petrol cars."
Austin says that while cutting fuel taxes is a popular idea, it would have consequences.
"This would also mean that the government would receive less revenue from taxation, and therefore would not have the money it needs for its programs and policies," he says. "The actual tax reduction is out of the way the terms of reference were written. I am not optimistic that you will see changes in the price of gasoline in the Lower Mainland."
The province said it wanted the commission to focus on the potential price adjustment or drilling of oil companies. The Commission was asked to prepare the report by the end of August.