Gas prices in Florida are anticipated to continue rising throughout the coming weeks due to high oil prices. A barrel of crude oil has risen in cost by approximately 10 percent since the turn of the calendar year, sitting currently at $83.82 per unit.
The average price of a gallon of regular unleaded gas was $3.22, up from $3.19 a week earlier. That was slightly below the $3.24 a gallon a month ago but far higher than the $2.31 a gallon last year, according to AAA.
Monroe County bears the highest fuel costs in the state at $3.57 a gallon, followed by West Palm Beach-Boca Raton ($3.41), Naples ($3.29), and Fort Lauderdale ($3.27). Crestview-Fort Walton Beach ($3.10), Pensacola ($3.11), and Panama City ($3.14) are home to the cheapest costs.
“In the past few weeks, we have seen the price for a barrel of oil slowly work its way from the mid-$60s to the low $80s,” said Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson. “And the primary reason is global economic optimism, whether well-founded or not, that the worst of COVID may soon be behind us.”
Governor Ron DeSantis in December called upon the legislature to allocate $1 billion for 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.”
Gas providers within the state seem on board with the notion of a gas tax relief, with Bucc-ee’s owner Arch “Beaver” Aplin III offering insight as to how the proposal might play out.
“This is really a big deal. The Governor called me several weeks ago and had this concept of a gas tax relief, and I thought it was a great idea,” said Aplin. “Inflation is real. It’s here and there’s no question about it. Buc-ee’s will absolutely commit if this happens, if it passes, and we will roll back prices the 25 cents.”
As COVID-19 protocols are slowly rolled back in states and cities across the nation, AAA anticipates a drop in prices in the near future. Attributing a diminished demand for fuel, likely due to winter weather, crude oil prices can be expected to lower in the coming months.