News Higher wholesale price tagged with the blame for higher gas pump prices SHARE ON: Bob McIntyre, staff Tuesday, Feb. 9th, 2021 South Porcupine Esso at noon hour Feb. 9. Across the street at Rubino's Petro Canada, the price was also 129.9. (Mark Rogers, Near North Video Productions/yourplacetowatch.com) Area gas prices have started shooting up by a dime or more, into the high $1.20s range. Dan McTeague of Canadians For Affordable Energy says it’s because of an increase in the wholesale price. And that’s partly because of increased demand in the United States, as more people are vaccinated against COVID-19. All of that filters down to our region. “Most gas stations are having to buy their fuel right now for $1.22 to $1.23 taxes in, without a retail margin,” McTeague explains. “That doesn’t even cover the cost of paying the electricity to turn on your pumps.” Nor, says McTeague, does it pay the two- or three-cent a litre cost of accepting credit cards. “All told, I’m not surprised at $1.27. But gas stations are really price takers, not price makers.” That $1.27 McTeague mentions was the price some stations were charging at the time of our interview with him.