Florida gas prices continue to skyrocket as the new year is ushered in, reaching an average price point of $3.46 per gallon statewide, up 12 cents from the week prior. The sky-high oil costs mark the costliest pump prices since July of 2014 with little indication of lowering.
The recent cold weather in the U.S. increased the demand for heating oil. Meanwhile, the concern that Russia will react to potential western sanctions by withholding crude oil from an already-tight global market puts heavy upward pressure on prices. The national average for a gallon of gas has surged to $3.44, 8 cents more than a week ago.
“This shows how events on the other side of the globe can have a noticeable impact right here in the U.S,” said Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson. “And unfortunately for drivers, they are reminded of this by higher prices at the pump.”
AAA experts continue to predict increasing prices linked to the growing costs of crude oil, from which gasoline is refined. Crude oil closed at $92 a barrel Friday, the first time in 8 years that a single barrel rose above the $90 mark.
“Unfortunately it looks like the pain at the pump may continue to worsen after oil prices saw another strong round of gains last week,” AAA said in a statement “At the moment, only one person knows why Russia is threatening Ukraine, and that’s Russian President Vladimir Putin. The tensions along the Ukrainian border have helped push crude oil prices higher almost daily.”
Today’s national average for a gallon of gas is $3.44, which is 14 cents more than a month ago and 98 cents more than a year ago.
Monroe County reflects the highest gas prices statewide at an average of $3.71 per gallon, while Palm Beach and Broward Counties trail just behind at $3.59 and $3.50 per gallon, respectively.
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.”