Tuesday, July 8, 2014



Like many Canadians, I have been happy at the growth of oil stocks like Suncor, which is now like buying a piece of the Shield, but what I hate is pump prices so high that you contemplate having to sell  stock, or take out a second mortgage, whenever you go to fill up the car, the boat and even the mower.
All the way back to my battles with Esso PR whenever I wrote an editorial thundering out about the increase in gasoline costs even when the price of oil had plummeted, I have had a healthy suspicion that oil companies basically have two purposes -  to make money for themselves and to screw everyone else.
I have never believed any industry expert trying to explain the relationship between the cost of crude and the cost at the pump, which is also rather crude. What the market will bear is the real relationship.  I confess that I do know a tad about the subject. Nope. not the economics classes I slept through. Years ago, I actually had modest investments in this area and was lucky/smart enough to be in at the birth of Baytex but unfortunately sold long before it floated up to $50 a share.
When it comes to being taken by the gas companies, Torontonians are the chump champs.
I had just filled up near my cottage country cranny and was grumbling at it costing $50 when the regular report came over 680 News that the price of gas the next day at most city stations would be $1.38 a litre.
No wonder the service station that I had just left was so busy because the price there was .20 cents a litre cheaper.  Now that was unusually low but most of the stations that I passed on the 190 km. trip home from the cottage were eight cents to a dime cheaper than what was said to be the norm in Toronto.
Now I have complaints about that AM station. I routinely run into large jams that it never warned me about in the traffic reports "on the ones." But I am sure it doesn't get that gas price report  wrong and there is never a day when I don't routinely see gas selling cheaper outside the city than what is given as the typical price inside.
I do not want to hear from any experts burbling about why this happens. The nice thing about semi retirement, or whatever the hell this state is, is I don't have to listen to PR people, especially from oil companies.
There's a story around that the reason our gasoline prices are so high is that the oil is located in provinces like Alberta and the dipstick is in Ottawa so no one has been checking our oil lately and we've run into this crisis.
I know it's not very funny, but at least a feeble laugh is better than what we will be doing at $1.45.

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