Follow by Email

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Gas to drop while heating and stove oils increase
Markets eye Northern Iraq

Media release

St. John’s, NL, December 18, 2007- Consumers in Newfoundland and Labrador will see a slight drop in gasoline prices this coming Thursday ahead of the long drive home, that’s from George Murphy of the Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices.

“With thirteen days out of a possible fourteen days of data on hand, there’s enough there to call the shot on how pricing will look this coming Thursday. It looks like gas prices will drop by 1.3 cents a litre while heating and stove oils will likely increase by somewhere close to one cent a litre,” said Murphy.

“Inventories of heating oil remain a concern while we are into the January and February buying contracts. We still have not seen substantial increases in inventories even though refiner capacity has picked up slightly. Cold and stormy weather across North America has also impacted demand numbers.

“The situation in Northern Iraq is playing heavily into the markets today as Turkish forces have invaded some parts of Iraq to fight Kurdish rebels. There is a fear in the markets that oil exports from Northern Iraq will face possible disruptions and that has played into the markets significantly. We may see slightly larger increase in heating and stove oils and a lessening of the gasoline numbers as a result. Before the news today, we were relatively stable price wise.”

The Public utilities Board will set prices for fuels this coming Thursday morning.


-30-


For more information, contact;

George Murphy
Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices
gasprices@hotmail.com

Thursday, December 06, 2007



Government announces details of home heating rebate
Some people left out

News release

St. John’s, NL, December 6, 2007- Government has announced details of the home heating rebate that will be given out this year but, some people will not be able to avail of the program in spite of increased revenues from oil reources.

“I feel that government missed out on an opportunity to allow all Newfoundland and Labradorians to benefit from rising government revenues from increased offshore oil revenues. Everyone, regardless of income, should have been able to get government assistance to pay for the rising costs of heating. Government will still benefit from record prices in spite of this rebate,” said George Murphy of the Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices.

“The government of New Brunswick is talking about increasing taxes in their province to recoup revenue from the federal government dropping part of its portion of the HST. If they succeed in increasing the provincial take there, the province of Newfoundland and Labrador has to follow suit and increase taxes on heat as well. The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador has to actively look at leaving the HST agreement it signed back in 1997 in order to remove all taxes on heat or enter into negotiations with the other signatories to the agreement in order to revise the agreement. The province needs to start to express ‘fiscal independence’ and call our own shot. There never should have been taxes applied to necessities like heat.

“I am pleased that the income threshold has increased, but the threshold they have set still bars anyone with marginal incomes close to the cutoff point. If I am a two income household that collectively makes $41,000.00, then my household is not eligible unless I meet some of the special parameters set out. The rebate should cover everyone and not just a select few. There are still going to be consumers out there falling between the cracks. The rebate gets less with income exceeding $35,000.00 and cuts off at $40,000.00. The rebate should have been given to everyone regardless of income. The least that government should do here is to allow the applications from people who are close to the threshold as they may have special circumstances that are slightly outside the requirements of the rebate program. All residents, regardless of income, should have been able to benefit from increased oil revenues.

“We are still awaiting the announcement of a home retrofit program to allow grants to people to increase the energy efficiency of their homes and help them reign in rising energy costs. Again, while the government has made untold millions in increasing oil revenues, it has not yet made available a new home retrofit program that is cost effective and beneficial to the environment.

-30-

For more information, contact;

George Murphy
Group researcher/Member
Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Slight drop in distillates coming
Gasoline to remain little changed

News release

St. John’s, NL, December 4, 2007- Consumers of distillates like stove oils, heating and diesel may be set to see a slight downwards adjustment in prices this coming Thursday, that’s from George Murphy of the Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices.

“The loss in dollar value against the U.S greenback did exactly what we had feared would happen; absorb some of the drop in spot pricing of distillates and help support prices rather than see it go into freefall,” Murphy said. “The price of the refined product only lost a clear three cents since last adjustment November 28, 2007 when prices were interrupted. The U.S markets saw a loss of almost twelve cents a gallon off heating oil futures pricing this last week.

“While coming close to a four cent interruption last week, we’ve watched spots fall again in the second week bringing us to a ‘break even point” where there may be very little change to gasoline pricing, up or down. With twelve out of a possible fourteen days of data, gasoline shows an increase of 4/10ths of a cent while heating and stove oils will drop by three cents. If numbers hold steady for the next two business days, I expect there to be little change from those numbers though gasoline will be closer to a zero change.

“Heating oil spot pricing remains fourteen cents a litre higher than the same time last year (December 04/06) while gasoline spots are now nine cents a litre higher. While OPEC may have been talking about the possibility of an increase in production at its next meeting today, I don’t expect there to be positive news on that front. A lot of OPEC members like Libya aren’t ready to increase output. Consumers have another two or three months left to ride out this winter storm in heating and stove oils while, for gasoline users, a storm may be just developing.”

-30-

For more information, contact;

George Murphy
Group researcher/member
Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices