Many motorists in Metro Vancouver were shocked to see retail fuel prices continue their astonishing rise on Sunday (September 25).
At many locations, it cost 233.9 cents per litre to fill a tank with regular gasoline. This came after a 13-cent a litre hike over the weekend, according to Gaswizard.ca.
Premium gasoline was selling for 233.9 cents per litre on Sunday.
The all-time record in this region is 236.9 cents, which was set on June 6.
Gaswizard.ca founder Dan McTeague told Global News B.C. that there was already a tight supply for gasoline on the West Coast of the U.S. before the Phillips 66 refinery in Ferndale, Washington, was shut down for maintenance.
It has a refining capacity of 16,590,000 litres of gasoline per day.
There's only one oil refinery in southwestern B.C. The Burnaby Refinery was purchased by Parkland in 2017 and refines 8,745,000 litres per day—slightly more than half of what's produced at the Phillips 66 facility.
Higher retail gasoline prices have the potential to boost inflation, which stood at 7 percent across Canada in August on a year-over-year basis. In B.C., the annual August inflation rate was 7.3 percent, exceeding the national figure.
Excluding gasoline, prices rose by 6.3 percent on an annual basis across the country, according to Statistics Canada.
On a monthly basis, gas prices declined 9.2 percent in Canada in July, followed by another drop of 9.6 percent in August.
"The monthly gas price decline in August compared with July mainly stemmed from higher global production by oil-producing countries," Statistics Canada stated on September 20. "According to data from Natural Resources Canada, refining margins also fell from higher levels in July."
South of the border, there's been a great deal of commentary that President Joe Biden's personal popularity is integrally linked to the retail price of gasoline.
Yahoo finance columnist Rick Newman pointed out earlier this month that a sharp drop in fuel prices from July to early September resulted in Biden's approval rating rising from 38 percent to around 44 percent.
"Now, 44 percent is probably not high enough for the Democrats to prevail in the midterms, which are now just eight weeks away, Newman said in a video discussion. "Biden probably needs to be closer to 48 and maybe 50 percent. But he is heading in that direction."