WATCH ABOVE: The price at the pump is dropping, but not everyone is smiling. Eric Szeto explains.
EDMONTON – Those in the Capital Region woke up to a treat Tuesday morning: a big drop in gas prices.
The average price at the pump across the city was sitting at about 92.5 cents/litre, but many stations are offering even lower deals, hovering around the 90 cent mark.
The lowest Global News found was 81.9 cents/litre at the 7-Eleven on 97 Street and 176 Avenue.
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“Thrilled, absolutely thrilled,” said one Edmonton driver who was filling up. “I’m so happy gas is cheaper now, especially this time of year when you’re putting how much money into everything else.”
The Canadian Automobile Association said Tuesday average retail gas prices hit a four-year low.
“The sharp drop in prices of crude oil over the past couple of months is finally being reflected in Canadian retail prices,” said Jeff Walker, CAA vice president of public affairs.
But, the drop in gas prices comes as the price of oil continues to nosedive. The dip has many wondering about what long-term pain could come from this short-term gain.
“Ten bucks at the pump is peanuts in the long-term with what this could do to the province, to Canada… everything,” said another motorist. “I’d like to see oil go back up again.”
“Gas prices are just a temporary high.”
Industry analysts warn that the plunging price of oil will impact virtually every part of the Canadian economy, not to mention Alberta’s bottom line.
“We’re going to see reduced corporate profits, that’s going to reduce the amount of employment in that sector, it’s going to reduce royalties provincially; and it’s going to, through corporate profits, reduce federal income as well,” explained oil analyst Michael Ervin.
“There’s really no sector of the Canadian economy that’s not going to feel the pinch.”
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The Edmonton Food Bank is thinking about the trickle-down effect less money for the province might have on clients.
“It is something we’re leery about before we jump up and down for joy for cheaper gas prices,” said Tamisan Bencz-Knight.
While the low cost of gas means a savings for the Food Bank’s fleet of seven trucks, the lower price of oil could mean dark days ahead for the provincial government.
“We’re not government funded, but many of our clients are on fixed incomes like AISH or EI or any pensions, and we don’t know exactly if there’s going to be any reciprocal effects of lost money in that regard,” explained Bencz-Knight.
Last week, Alberta premier Jim Prentice said the government must tighten its belt and admitted Albertans will feel the consequences of a revenue shortfall from plummeting crude prices.
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Experts say it’s a trend that is likely to continue.
“It’s pretty clear that the chance of prices going up in the near future are very, very minimal and there is in fact still a chance that we might see even lower crude prices,” said Ervin.
The benchmark West Texas Intermediary price for crude oil closed Monday at $69 US per barrel, a decline of $6 since last week.
Still, some drivers say they’ll make the most of the situation.
“Honestly I try not to really think about it. I want to rather live in the moment and enjoy the fact that it’s 90 cents a litre right now.”
To find the best gas deals in the city, check out getgasprices广州桑拿论坛, albertagasprices广州桑拿网 or the Gas Buddy app.