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Gas pump prices easing after high start to New Year

Average Florida gas prices in various markets range from $2.42 to $2.61

After the cost of gasoline surged during the first week of 2020, it eased back about 4 cents a gallon in the past week in Florida, still leaving the cost of gallon of gas much higher than this time last year, according to the latest report from AAA — The Auto Club Group.

The average price of a gallon of gasoline in Florida on Monday morning is $2.49, down from a high of $2.53 this time last week, but still 36 cents a gallon higher than this time last year, AAA reported.

“Drivers normally see some of the lowest gas prices of the year in January, but prices have remained elevated compared to recent months, due to the rising price of crude,” Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA — The Auto Club Group, stated in a news release.

Nationally, the average price of a gallon of gasoline ins $2.58, according to AAA.

“Cooling geopolitical tensions between the US and Iran has alleviated some of the upward pressure on gasoline, and now drivers are beginning to see lower prices at the pump,” Jenkins continued. “The state average could dip another few pennies this week. Seasonal factors like low gasoline demand and growing supplies should allow gas prices to slip even lower this month. However, seasonal factors will be at play again in the spring. Gas prices are forecast to bounce 20-30 cents higher in the coming months as refineries conduct maintenance and switch to summer gasoline.”

AAA found the least expensive gasoline in Florida in Punta Gorda, where it averages $2.42 per gallon; Orlando, $2.43; Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, $2.44; Sarasota, $2.44; and Jacksonville, $2.44.

The most expensive gasoline in Florida was found in West Palm Beach-Boca Raton, averaging $2.61 per gallon; West Palm Beach, $2.60; Port St. Lucie, $2.54; and Gainesville, $2.54.

In Miami, gas is selling for $2.48 a gallon; Fort Lauderdale, $2.52; Tallahassee, $2.53; Naples, $2.45.; and Pensacola, $2.52.

Rising crude prices dragged gas prices higher in recent weeks, AAA reported. However, oil prices quickly sank as tensions between the US and Iran began to ease. Last week, the price for a barrel of WTI crude dropped nearly $5; going from $64 per barrel on Monday to $59 on Friday.

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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