FREDERICTON – With gas prices expected to rise on Saturday, Green Party leader and MLA for Fredericton South David Coon is pointing to Premier Blaine Higgs’ carbon adjustor as the primary driver behind the higher prices.
“The only reason 8 cents may be added to the price of gasoline next week is because Premier Higgs brought in a law that makes it possible,” said Coon. “The Tory carbon adjuster created by this law is the only reason that the Irving Oil refinery can pass on its costs of complying with Canada’s new clean fuel regulations. Without it, the refinery might choose to implement innovative means to clean-up the fuels they produce, which could even increase their profit margins in the long-term.”
Following seven years of negotiations with the petroleum industry and provincial governments, the federal government is enacting new regulations under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act to gradually reduce the amount of pollution caused by gasoline and diesel over many years. Refineries don’t have to comply with the new regulations’ minimal first year targets for cleaning up gasoline and diesel fuel until this time next year.
“There was a 36-cent increase in refinery margins in New Brunswick between 2019 and 2022,” said Coon. “There was no need for Premier Higgs to make it legally possible for Irving Oil to pass on the costs for cleaning up their petroleum products to New Brunswickers.”