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Diesel fuel shortage impact could be felt beyond the gas pumps

Last Updated Jun 10, 2018 at 11:14 pm EDT

If you’re a motorist that relies on diesel fuel to get around, you have likely noticed its becoming a scarce commodity across the GTA.

CityNews has learned one in four gas stations across the GTA are experiencing a diesel shortage and the problem has been ongoing for almost three weeks.

“In the industry, we call it allocation, where most gas stations have had ration or allocate or receive less diesel than they normally would,” explains Dan McTeague of gasbuddy.com.

“This has been sponsored in part by Petro-Canada Suncor refinery having issues in Sarnia as well as the Valero Plant in Quebec City, both of those together seem to be putting a real strain on the supply of diesel availability this time of year, we are seeing shortages.”

CityNews has reached out to Suncor and Valero Energy for comment on this issue, but have yet to hear back from them.

McTeague says diesel has become a popular product and a vital one for the transportation industry and for small businesses.

Judith Edler manages a small contracting company with two diesel-fuelled vans. She says her business will take a hit because of this shortage.

“Day by day we have to service calls, so every day if I get two or three calls, we have to go and do the service for my clients. So if they cannot do it, I will lose my clients,” she explains.

She says she now has to use a temporary vehicle to get around and not her diesel-fueled car and that she might have to lease non-diesel vans to make sure it’s business as usual.

McTeague says that diesel is currently priced 30-to-35 cents higher compared to this time last year and that this product is essential for the transportation industry. He says the shortage could have a significant impact on many of us.

“We use it for things most of us tend to take for granted. Things like our public transit, getting products to our grocery stores. We could start to even see surcharges for airlines and other places we least expect it.”

According to McTeague, the diesel shortage will last for a while, which could have an impact on the economy down the road.

“You’re likely to see diesel remain the most expensive of the fuels in the foreseeable future unless governments can reduce the tax on them.”