MP Wayne Stetski for Kootenay — Columbia. (File)

MP Wayne Stetski for Kootenay — Columbia. (File)

MP Stetski asks parliament why gas stations are always the same price

Greenhouse gases, ethanol in jet fuel were items discussed at an environment committee last month

  • Feb. 23, 2019 12:00 a.m.

Environment Committee on Jan. 30, 2019

Greenhouse gases

Stetski: “My question is for the Canadian Fuels Association.

What improvements can the Canadian Fuels Association make to decrease greenhouse gases? What improvements can you make to reduce GHGs?”

Peter Boag, President and Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Fuels Association:

“Certainly as we look at it in the context of the clean fuels standard in particular in terms of the work we’ve done with Environment and Climate Change Canada and identifying compliance pathways, continuous improvements in reducing energy consumption and improving energy efficiency in refineries will ultimately reduce the carbon intensity of the fuel we produce. Opportunities that do align with some of the limited opportunities around the output-based pricing system will, again, assist in reducing the carbon intensity of the fuel we produce. Certainly, blending biofuels, biocomponents, whether that’s renewable diesel or whether it’s ethanol, presents other compliance opportunities, but they come at a cost.

The challenge we have with regulatory mechanisms like the clean fuel standard or renewable fuel standards is that they are not particularly transparent with respect to the costs. We don’t see how this is the price of carbon and how that translates to the price of a litre of fuel.

We’ve seen many studies in Canada done by independent think tanks over the last number of years that point to a very high price on cost per tonne mitigated of renewable fuel blending, in the hundreds of dollars per tonne, which aren’t transparent to the average citizen, and, hence, don’t influence their ability to make decisions.

Certainly, it’s a compliance pathway. It’s work we’re doing already. The ethanol blending level in Canada today probably averages better than 7% through various renewable fuel band-aids, but it’s an expensive cost per tonne of GHG mitigation measure.”

Stetski: “Thank you.”

Future role of ethanol in jet fuel

Stetski: “Just because I’m curious, does ethanol have a role in the future of jet fuel?”

Geoffrey Tauvette, Director, Fuel and Environment, WestJet, Environment Committee, National Airlines Council of Canada: “There is a process whereby you can convert alcohol to jet, so it’s a potential pathway.”

Stetski: “We’re not there currently?”

Tauvette: “It has been approved under our international standard or specifications board. Some technologies have just started to appear in order to be able to do it well.”

Why are multiple gas stations always the same price?

Stetski: “My constituents would love to know how come every gas station in Cranbrook is at the same price all the time. They all go up the same and they go down the same, but we can talk about that after.

Peter Boag, President and Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Fuels Association: “That’s what’s called a competitive market.”


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