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Gas prices in Florida continue to slide; still above last year

Prices at pump are about 18 cents higher than last year at this time

Gasoline prices in Florida dropped another 4 cents per gallon last week continuing a 16-day downward trend, but Florida drivers still are paying more than usual during Christmas week.

That’s according to AAA — The Auto Club Group, whose weekly tracking of gas prices finds the statewide average gallon costing $2.42 Monday. That’s down from last week but up from last month. It is way up from this date last year, when gas was costing just $2.24 per gallon.

The prices routinely drop heading into Christmas, AAA noted. Last year, on Christmas day, Floridians were paying an average of $2.21 per gallon. The year before, $2.35; and on Christmas 2016, $2.32.

“Elevated oil prices and issues at a massive Gulf Coast refinery are preventing prices at the pump from falling as fast as they did this time last year,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA — The Auto Club Group. “As a result, year-end holiday gas prices are poised to be the most expensive in five years. But that’s unlikely to slow travelers down, because current prices are around the same level as a month ago – when most travel plans were finalized.”

The cheapest gas in Florida, on average, can be found Monday in the Tampa Bay market, costing an average of $2.32 per gallon. Jacksonville, gas prices average $2.34. In Orlando, prices average $2.35, and in Punta Gorda, $2.37.

Meanwhile, drivers in the West Palm Beach-Boca Raton market are paying the most, an average of $2.55 per gallon. In Sebastian-Vero Beach and in Gainesville the price averages $2.50 a gallon.

In Miami-Dade County the average price is $2.48. In Fort Lauderdale, the average price is $2.47, and in Tallahassee and in Naples,  $2.46. Pensacola drivers are paying an average of $2.38.

Written By

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at scott@floridapolitics.com.

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