Industry Minister Tony Clement wants the petroleum industry to explain to Canadians how gas prices are set. Clement said Thursday he plans to ask executives from refining, distribution and retailing companies to appear before a parliamentary committee once Ottawa reconvenes. “No one can understand why last year, when oil per barrel was around $140 or $150, we were paying $1.37 per litre, when this year oil is south of $98 a barrel and yet we’re paying more,” Clement says. NDP MP Jack Harris says the federal government should conduct some kind of investigation, led by a federal ombudsman, into whether oil companies are colluding together or if the industry is price gouging. On Tuesday, oil prices rose to 6.5 cents a litre throughout Ontario, in Montreal and in Vancouver, but fell 2.5 cents on Wednesday. A declining U.S. dollar, instability in the Middle East, market speculation, flooding along the Mississippi River, and Ontario’s consumption taxes on gas are all factors that have been identified in contributing to unpredictable price changes.