Florida’s steep gas prices are finally showing signs of coming down, dropping by an average of 20 cents per gallon statewide as of Wednesday, according to AAA. A barrel of crude oil has fallen in price, down to $105 after topping out at $123 per barrel following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The average price for gasoline in the Sunshine State sat at $4.32 per gallon in mid-March, shattering records, and was a dollar more expensive than fuel costs at the start of 2022. The price surge, driven by global supply concerns, as sanctions and regulations against Russia has limited the world’s 3rd-largest oil producer from moving its oil in the market, has begun to level out, as the average per-gallon price in Florida is now $4.12.
“Usually this time of year, with warmer weather and longer days, we’d see an uptick in gasoline demand as more people hit the road,” said Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson. “But we had a slight drop in demand last week, which may be due to higher pump prices. In our new survey of drivers, 59% said they would change their driving habits or lifestyle if the cost of gas hit $4 per gallon. And if gas were to reach $5, which it has in the Western part of the country, three-quarters said they would need to adjust their lifestyle to offset the pump price.”
Motorists looking to travel around the state will find the highest price per gallon across parts of South Florida. West Palm Beach-Boca Raton ($4.30), Fort Lauderdale ($4.24), and Ocala ($4.24) posted the highest gas prices in the state. The lowest prices were reported in Clay County ($4.01), Okaloosa County ($4.03), and Orange County ($4.03).
If this trend continues, AAA says prices could drop an additional 25 cents a gallon, although the price of oil was trading higher on Monday. That could erase around 5 to 10 cents from the potential 25-cent drop.
Joe Biden recently ruminated on the implementation of a federal gas tax, a move that Gov. Ron DeSantis previously committed to in November. The governor called upon lawmakers to allocate $1 billion in the state budget a gas tax relief that would be passed along to consumers and their wallets.
“What we’re going to be proposing in the next legislative session is over $1 billion in gas tax relief,” said DeSantis. “There’s a whole bunch of things that go into the price of gas, different taxes, federal, state, local level. We’re taking over 25 cents from Florida and we’ll basically zero that out for as long as we can and do over a billion dollars.”