St.John’s – A study released by a regional think-tank this week on petroleum product regulation is flawed, the Newfoundland and Labrador government claims.

“I’ve often said you can make polls look (like) whatever you want it to look like, depending on the questions you ask.” Government Services Minister Kevin O’Brien said Tuesday.

“The same applies to a report- you can make it look (like) whatever you want.”

On Monday the Halifax-based Atlantic Institute for Market Studies (AIMS) issued a report on the regulatory regimes governing the the industry in the region.

All four Atlantic provinces now have some form of price controls.

AIMS calculated that, as of Feb. 1, Atlantic Canadians have paid $155.6 million more for gasoline over the years because of price regulation.

The hit to consumers totalled $65.2 million in Newfoundland and Labrador since the market was regulated in late 2001, AIMS claimed.

But O’Brien said the study doesn’t give the “true picture” of regulation.

It only costs the province $500,000 a year to run the system regulating petroleum prices, he noted – roughly 0.004 cents per litre.

O’Brien said there is no need for changes to the current regulatory  regime. “Absolutely not. I think reglatory is working.”