Dan McTeague is known as the man to go to if you want to find out tomorrow’s gas prices.
And while it may seem like he pulls his predictions out of thin air, he says there is absolutely no mystery to what he does – the information is publicly available.
“If you go to the Bloomberg energy website, go to the energy prices page, and you’ll find more than the price of petroleum, but also the price of gasoline,” the Pickering-Scarborough East MP says.
McTeague says those numbers are the ones gas companies use to price their product. He himself also uses that information, while adding in the GST and the PST for Ontario, and taking into account the value of the Canadian dollar.
Eventually he arrives at the amount people will pay for gas the next day.
He says he spends about a half hour to an hour each day working on the calculations.
Individual gas stations find out the next day’s gas price at some point each evening, says Rajesh Butt, an employee at the Esso station at Sheppard Avenue and Kingston Road. They receive the information from their head office.
“Whatever price we get, that’s what we have go with … the companies do everything,” Butt says. “They do exactly what Dan McTeague does, so he goes on the website to calculate all the taxes and stuff to put it out to the market.”
Butt adds McTeague is good at what he does, as he is usually within a cent of, or right on, the actual price of gas.
McTeague says he has been predicting gas prices for 13 or 14 years now.
“Like everyone else, I was annoyed at the up and down, and the peak and valleys of gas prices,” McTeague says. He says he spent a lot of time learning about the gas business, and he was also approached by people within the industry, sources he cannot name.
McTeague has two main suggestions to improve oil prices – break up the monopoly and restore competition.
“No one refinery should be involved to the extent they are, or controlling the price the way they are,” McTeague says.
According to McTeague, the issue of higher gas costs is what has caused the Canadian economy to stall. The price of gasoline affects all areas of life, which is why he says he doesn’t mind if people only think of him as the gas man.
“I tend to believe this is something that is extremely valuable,” McTeague says.
He adds his main concern is his constituents, however.
As a worker in the gas industry, Butt says he doesn’t really pay much attention to McTeague’s gas price predictions. But he says it’s really the consumers McTeague does it for.
“It’s for the people,” Butt says. “What he does for the people, if people feel it’s good, it’s good. At least he tells the people that this is what’s happening.”