Fill it up with regular

Christopher Gooding
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Mumblings the Nova Scotia government should not correct prices at the pumps to fall in line with the current cost of crude flies in the face of gas regulation at its very nature.
The sole design of gas regulation, for good or for ill, is to soften the blow for consumers as the cost of gasoline rises. With the ups come the downs and at the end of the day regulated gas prices are designed to provide some level of consistency for the consumer.
Whether that has really be happening is speculative. Some feel public outcry should be good enough to rewrite the system.
Last Friday, the government dropped the price of gas by three cents before the price of a barrel of oil jumped to a record $139.12 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Had the cost of oil toed a downward line prior to the price adjustment? Many argue no. In fact the cost of gas had been on the incline, both prior to the adjustment and the weeks leading up to the cut last Friday. Why, then, the cost of regulated gas gave consumers the relief of three cents last week we'll maybe never know?
Consideration of doing some quick math now to adjust the cost of gasoline just goes to show that public opinion affects the price of gas as much as the market and these little tweaks at the pumps to keep Nova Scotians satisfied will only catch up with us in the long run. Instead we should be asking for more proof behind our prices. Where are the flow charts and the science behind today's prices? In a day and age where the cost of a barrel of crude has increasingly risen where is the paperwork justifying the decreases at the pumps? Is gas regulation being used as it was originally intended and if so show us the data.
There's a lot of speculation within the market what a barrel of crude will do in the coming weeks and it's the function of gas regulation to help consumers during these days of confusion. Looking at the cost of gas during the past few weeks and comparing it to what the market is doing this current week, Service Nova Scotia Minister Jamie Muir and his cohorts should be able to determine that in order to come out even in the long run they will either have to raise or maintain prices before they can responsibly provide a decrease as costs begin to balance out.

Organizations: New York Mercantile Exchange

Geographic location: Nova Scotia

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