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Florida gas prices dip slightly, could increase with tropical threat

The average price for a gallon of gas is about $2.17.

Following a brief spike in prices at the pump due to trouble in the tropics, Florida gasoline prices trickled downward in the past week, according to AAA Florida Auto Club data released Monday.

The average price for a gallon of gas fell over the past week to $2.17. That’s down nearly 3 cents from the previous week, which saw a 12-cent increase. Much of that increase was blamed on Hurricane Laura, which blasted the Louisiana and Texas Gulf coasts causing some interruptions in oil production where refineries are located.

But with Tropical Storm Sally building strength in the Gulf of Mexico as of Monday and with a projected path heading toward the Louisiana and Mississippi coasts, there may be another increase in gas prices ahead.

“As of Sunday night, this storm was not having much of an impact on gasoline prices, but that could change this week, depending on the severity of the storm,” said Mark Jenkins, AAA Florida spokesperson. “For now, it appears retail prices could continue to decline this week, due to the 10-cent drop in wholesale gasoline prices last week.”

There are 10 crude oil refineries now in the path of Sally. Those facilities account for about 25% of all refineries along the Gulf Coast.

Last week’s 12-cent increase was one of the few gasoline price increases this summer. The $2.19 average a week ago was also the highest price for gas the state has seen since the outbreak of coronavirus in March.

The pandemic has stemmed the usual summer surge in travel, keeping gas prices lower than normal. The current average price of $2.17 per gallon is still 6 cents higher than August and 24 cents lower than a year ago.

The highest average price for a gallon of gas in Florida last week could be found in West Palm Beach at $2.27 followed by Port St. Lucie at $2.21 and Vero Beach at $2.20.

The cheapest price for a gallon of gas in the Sunshine State could be found in Punta Gorda at $2.11 followed by Fort Walton Beach at $2.12 and Tallahassee at $2.13.

Florida still has lower gas prices than the national average of $2.19 per gallon.

Written By

Drew Dixon is a journalist of 40 years who has reported in print and broadcast throughout Florida, starting in Ohio in the 1980s. He is also an adjunct professor of philosophy and ethics at three colleges, Jacksonville University, University of North Florida and Florida State College at Jacksonville. You can reach him at drewdixonwriting@gmail.com.

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