Canada

Gas prices inflicting pain? Alberta unveils plan to ease the burden

EDMONTON—Alberta will ditch its provincial fuel tax in a bid to tackle crushing costs at the gas pumps.

Albertans now pay 13 cents per litre in fuel tax, but on April 1 that will stop, Premier Jason Kenney announced Monday in Edmonton.

The move will be reviewed on a quarterly basis and be based on the price per barrel of West Texas Intermediate (WTI), a grade of oil often used as a benchmark. If the price dips below $80 (U.S.) per barrel, the full fuel tax will be in place, but if the price goes above $90 per barrel, the fuel tax will be fully removed. This is done on a sliding scale.

The price per barrel of WTI oil has been hovering around $115 in recent days.

“This is basically the reverse carbon tax,” Kenney said.

The move is coming as the federal government’s carbon tax is set to increase, also on April 1, from about nine cents per litre to roughly 11 cents per litre, the province announced.

“While the federal government is set to increase the carbon tax April 1, Alberta’s government is taking the opposite approach and stepping up to offer relief,” Kenney is quoted as saying in a news release.

The province is also rolling out $150 electricity rebates for Albertans and will apply to most households. Details around timing are to be ironed out with regulators, the government said.

More to come.

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