Holiday travel time sees another 3 cent drop in gas prices

gas pump
Gas still costs more than $1 more than this time last year.

Floridians on the road for Christmas this week will find a little holiday cheer at the pumps, as gas prices fell another 3.5 cents per gallon since last week, AAA reported Monday.

On Sunday, pump prices averaged $3.23 per gallon, reported AAA — The Auto Club Group. Since Thanksgiving, the state average dropped more than 12 cents per gallon from the 2021 high of $3.36 on Nov. 20.

Still, the average cost is more than a dollar per gallon more than last year at this time.

Gas prices are still slowly adjusting to the global decline in crude oil prices that began in late November.

The price of U.S. oil plummeted 13% on Black Friday on concerns about how the omicron variant could limit global mobility. Oil prices appeared ready to stage a comeback last week but lost momentum by the week’s end. Friday’s $70.86 per barrel settlement is 1% less than a week ago, 10% less than the price before Thanksgiving, and 16% below the November high of $84.15 per barrel.

“Holiday travelers are getting the gift of falling prices at the pump, though these prices surely aren’t falling as fast as many would like,” Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA — The Auto Club Group, said in a news release Monday. “Travelers are poised to pay about a dollar per gallon more than they did last year. Even still, after many decided to stay home and play it safe last year, it appears that higher gas prices will not be a big deterrent. AAA forecasts a strong 28% rebound in road trips compared to last year.”

The national average was $3.30 per gallon, AAA reported Monday.

Florida’s average gas price was $2.20 per gallon a year ago.

AAA reports that the best prices for Florida drivers are the Crestview-Fort Walton Beach area and Tallahassee, where the averages were $3.09 per gallon. After that is Punta Gorda and The Villages, $3.12; Melbourne, $3.15; Pensacola, $3.16; Panama City, $3.17; and Tampa and Jacksonville, $3.19.

Florida’s most expensive gas was in the West Palm Beach-Boca Raton area, where it still cost $3.42. In Naples, it was $3.30; Fort Lauderdale, $3.29; Sarasota, $3.25; Miami and St. Petersburg, $3.24; Fort Myers, $3.22; and Orlando, $3.21.

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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