Highs and lows felt with rising fuel prices in the Netherlands

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With the increase in the price of gasoline, consumers are feeling the pinch at the pump. (Terry Roberts / CBC)

With gasoline prices hitting record highs across Newfoundland and Labrador, some fear the implications, while others fear going broke.

Across St. John’s, gasoline costs about $ 1.50 a liter, and more in other parts of the island. In some parts of Labrador it’s close to $ 1.80. All thanks to higher carbon taxes and rising oil prices as the global economy slowly emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Derek Hayter, director of Newfound Cabs, said CBC News cab companies were struggling to cope.

“It’s ultimately the taxi driver who pays, and the business owner who pays. And so do the bus operators. We also operate a fleet of buses,” said Hayter.

“It takes money out of the pocket of the individual and the company.”

Hayter said rate hikes aren’t the answer either. He said it was the perennial argument among the operators.

“Raise tariffs to compensate for the price of gas, [it] drive away business. So it’s a catch-22, “he said.

Rising

Dennis O’Keefe, founder of the Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices, is worried about the increase.

“I’m afraid, not only of where it is, but where it might be in a month or two with the price of a barrel of oil rising,” O’Keefe said.

Oil prices in Newfoundland and Labrador are regulated by the Public Utilities Board.

O’Keefe said he wonders if this system needs tweaking. He said he thought it was time for the PUB to revise its pricing formula to see if it works in today’s economy.

On top of that, O’Keefe said he believes a tax cut or rebates should be considered, given that consumers pay almost 40 percent in tax when they refuel.

“There are other creative avenues that could be taken by the province, given the situation,” he said.

Dennis O’Keefe, founder of the Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices, says he’s worried about rising gas prices. (Terry Roberts / CBC)

PC Opposition Leader David Brazil agrees.

Brazil told CBC News immediate action must be taken.

“We believe that an immediate position must be taken here to ensure that the price of gasoline is lowered, or that people can understand that they will get a discount at the end,” Brazil said.

“So if it’s money out of pocket now, they’ll be refunded at the end of the day so it doesn’t change their lifestyle.”

Double edged sword

But, O’Keefe understands the struggle on both sides of the fence. Since Newfoundland and Labrador is an oil-producing province and relies on the price of oil to generate significant revenue for the provincial government, there is a fine line between the revenue generated and the consumers who pay the price.

“For us here in Newfoundland and Labrador it’s a bit like sitting on the sword. We love to see the price of a barrel go up because of what it does for the provincial economy, but we hate to see the price of a barrel go up. because of how it hits us at the pumps, ”O’Keefe said.

Just a few weeks ago, questions were raised about whether the oil and gas industry could survive the pandemic, and a spotlight was put on the switch to green energy.

Gas prices are on the rise due to the rebound in the global oil industry and rising carbon taxes. (Terry Roberts / CBC)

However, the rise in oil prices reinforces optimism. Oil companies are preparing to invest again, as seen in June when an agreement in principle was reached to save the future of the Terra Nova oil field.

For people like Natasha Hunt of Hunt’s Logistics, this is good news.

“We’re happy to see where the price is at right now. We hope it doesn’t go up too much, we understand this is affecting the consumer,” Hunt said.

“But at the end of the day, we’re happy to see some of the price of oil and gas come back, and hopefully that will mean more jobs and more projects for everyone here in our economy in Newfoundland. -and Labrador. “

Hunt’s company offers shipping options to customers, but the rising cost of fuel drives up the cost of doing business.

Hunt said his company has invested in new automatic trucks to reduce fuel emissions. She said the company is also focusing on driver training and speed monitoring.

“It has helped us a lot to control and maintain these costs,” she said.

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