Gas prices in Florida take a tumble

GasPumps
Gas still 22 cents per gallon higher than last year.

After three weeks of erratic and unusually high gasoline prices from the start of the year, the average cost of a gallon of gasoline tumbled over the past week.

According to AAA — The Auto Club Group, this week is beginning with gas costing an average of $2,45 a gallon in Florida, down 8 cents since last week.

And the decline is expected to continue over the next couple of weeks, following an unusually high spike in gasoline prices at the end of 2019 and the start of 2020.

“It took almost the entire month, but gas prices are finally beginning to follow a more traditional trend of declining in January,” said AAA spokesperson Mark Jenkins. “With the holiday travel season in the rearview and temperatures turning colder, Americans are not driving as much as they did a month ago. The lower demand has allowed gasoline stocks to swell. Wholesale prices have reached a low that — if they hold — could drag the state average below $2.35 in the next 10 days.”

Despite the recent decline, the state average remains 22 cents per gallon more than this time last year. The difference amounts to an additional $3 for a full 15-gallon tank of gas. That difference could soon begin to narrow as crude oil prices move more in line with last year’s levels.

Friday, West Texas Intermediate crude settled at $54.19 per barrel. The daily settlement is $4 per barrel less than the week before and only 50 cents more than this time last year.

The least expensive gas in Florida was found in Punta Gorda, averaging $2.36 per gallon; Orlando-Kissimmee, $2.37; Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, $2.38, and Pensacola, $2.38.

Most expensive: West Palm Beach-Boca Raton, $2.59; Sebastian-Vero Beach, $2.53; and Port St. Lucie $2.51.

In Jacksonville, the average gallon of gas cost $2.40; in Tallahassee, $2.47; Miami, $2.48; Gainesville, $2.48; and Fort Lauderdale, $2.50.

Nationally, gas is costing an average of $2.52 per gallon.

Scott Powers

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 [email protected]



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