Jock Finlayson, executive vice-president at the Business Council of B.C, said if crude oil is no longer flowing west to the Burnaby refinery, which supplies roughly a third of Southern B.C.'s demand for gasoline, then gas prices in the province could jump significantly.
Fuel shortages could develop and B.C. would need to increase its imports of both crude and refined petroleum from the United States and other countries, he added. "The economic impac obviously would be negative, since energy prices for B.C. businesses and consumers would be higher and there would be a scramble to find alternative fuel supply," he said on Thursday in an e-mailed statement. "If Alberta cut off supplies of refined petroleum products and not just of crude oil, the impact would be greater."