What might you be paying at the pump this year?

The price at the pumps is always a hot topic, and GasBuddy.com predicts that'll go up in Saskatchewan for the 2018 year.

Dan McTeague is their senior petroleum analyst and said a four to five-cents-per-litre increase is likely for Moose Jaw and Saskatchewan as a whole from 2017 prices.

"It's going to be a very robust year for both oil and gasoline, in terms of production and demand," the former Liberal member of parliament said. "We saw 2017 prices move an average of about four to five cents above 2016, and that momentum is going to continue. A strong US economy demand for gasoline continuing to break record after record, month after month, including of course the value of the Canadian Dollar, which is sum, and very often challenged, because of the low price of our oil as well as our continuation of our inability to sell as much oil as we did in the past."

McTeague's views don't align as much with the federal Liberals as they once did, as he's very critical of Canada's lack of pipeline use.

"I'm standing back and watch a minority basically block pipelines in this country that are the lifeline of our standard of living," said McTeague, speaking of environmentalists and Aboriginal groups protesting.

"It seems to me that it's something that's extremely important to Canada's economic well-being and that we have nothing to hide in terms of our ability to provide sustainable development of the oil industry. But no one's going to invest in oil if they can't get it to market."

When McTeague spoke with Golden West Radio, West Texas Intermediate Oil was selling for $62 a barrel, which was about $25 higher than the price of Canadian oil. 

"It's very injurious to our energy sector, but it's also potentially threatening the finances of the province as well as that of the national government, that by no coincidence has increased its debt to a level, in two years, that'll take 25 years to repay. If we continue to devalue our resources, for whatever political reasons, we are going to pay a cost not just this year in terms of gas prices, but a much larger cost across the country for years to come."

McTeague also says the cold weather that's hit parts of the prairies and eastern Canada down into the US also contribute to higher prices. Buying gas in Saskatchewan looks like it will be slightly less expensive than other provinces, as there is no carbon tax in Saskatchewan.

"I'm concerned that Keystone XL will not see fruition," said McTeague. "We've already seen the loss of Energy East's potential boost to the Canadian economy - east and west, some $14-15 billion a year. I don't think we can afford to lose another pipeline, even with approval of Transmountain Pipeline, and the rebuild of Line 5 Enbridge, will not be enough to offset the growth and development of the Canadian oil sands industry, which, of course, is able to produce a lot more oil to a market that is willing to accept it, not just globally but also the United States."

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