01/02/19 -- Roger McKnight explains why low gas prices are not the work of the Ontario government as some claim


File photo from The Canadian Press

Ontario’s premier and his MPPs are taking credit for the declining price of gas, but petroleum analysts say the government has very little to do with the current price at the pumps.

Premier Doug Ford and his caucus took to social media over the holidays to claim responsibility for the pump price decrease.

Doug Ford

Removing cap and trade off the price of gas is one of the reasons that gas prices in Ontario are generally lower compared to gas prices in provinces that have a carbon tax.

Rick Nicholls

Chatham-Kent has great gasoline prices because the PC government under Premier Doug Ford eliminated the carbon tax putting more money back into the hands of the people! #ForThePeople @OntarioNewsNow @fordnation

Christine Elliott

By eliminating the carbon tax in Ontario, families in Newmarket and Aurora have been enjoying lower gas prices and keeping more money in their pockets!

 · Aurora, Ontario

But petroleum analysts say the Ford government’s claims aren’t completely truthful, and that global oil prices are much more responsible for recent decreases in the price at the pump.

“Eighty per cent of the drop (in gas prices) is the result of the drop in oil — that’s dropped about $33 a barrel,” said Dan McTeague, a gas price analyst with GasBuddy.com. “The other 20 per cent is the result of the provincial government scrapping the cap-and-trade carbon tax.”

Gas price experts say the Ford government’s move to scrap the province’s cap-and-trade system has only shaved about five cents a litre off the price of gasoline, and that the premier’s claims are running on fumes.

“I think they’re huffing and puffing; they don’t really understand how gasoline is actually priced,” said Roger McKnight, a petroleum analyst at En-Pro. “They’re not in the oil business; they’re in the political business.”

McKnight says crude oil prices account for about 60 per cent of the price of gasoline, and that oil prices have nothing to do with governments — be they Progressive Conservative, Liberal or NDP.

with files from CityNews

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