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Thursday, September 08, 2011

Meeting with the PUB

Not long out of the meeting with the Public Utilities Board.

The meeting
That meeting was centered on the fact of the disparity between the numbers I have versus the numbers that the PUB uses in their operations. Keeping in mind that they are mandated under the petroleum pricing Act, they have no other choice but to use an industry standard that gives them historical accuracy in figuring out their numbers. Their numbers are exactly that: the numbers that are also used in other jurisdictions like Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

In this case, they are mandated to use a subscription service provided by Platt's Oilgram, who have been at this sort of thing for years, and at a substantial cost to the Board.

In looking at their numbers, I was convinced that they had right information, based on what they use, and I have no choice but to concede to the point that their information is accurate and supported.

Mine however, while they are free, are probably subject to some error and another reason why I always have a margin for error. Theirs doesn't, unless Platt's publishes wrong, and then they make the correction to that, and it's applied back in figuring out numbers to the consumer. Compared to that, mine are a "rough call" in what actually happens from week to week.

I still stand by them for the work they do, in spite of what I said on a local call-in show the other day. I was wrong when I connected them to "Big Oil" and I retract that comment. They're a great bunch down there that do good work, and I owe them better than what I took as grab by "Big Oil." They're no way connected. Again, they only do what's mandated under the Act.

Did "Big Oil" have any influence on the numbers in the markets that week? I don't know, but I think we all know now that when it comes to my numbers, the investors played hard and fast, so much so that my numbers this week would have showed a close on five cent a litre increase to the consumers out there for gasoline, a net 4.6 or so over the past two weeks. They didn't show as greatly in their numbers.

Their numbers showed an upwards movement by 3.7 cents or so.

Now we all know why I like the work of the Board, and why I still stand by regulation. I'm sorry I ever thought or spoke a bad word about them. This week, they proved their worth.

As I've said before, in this case there's just no way I can account for all the market volatility. In my case as well, I'll have to start a new search for more accurate info.

Regards to all,

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

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