Florida – According to AAA, gas prices are declining in Florida, but not for long.
Last week, the average gas price in the state went down 2 cents and in the past two weeks, gas has declined a total of 4 cents. On Sunday, the average was $2.25, 16 cents more expensive than this time in 2016.
“Robust fuel supplies pushed retail prices lower last week, but this downward trend may not last much longer,” said AAA spokesman, Mark Jenkins. “Gas prices will face upward pressure this week due to a series of refinery issues in the Gulf Coast. Popular markets for the solar eclipse may also see higher pump prices, due to increased demand in the area, which could leave some gas stations low on fuel.”
Currently, the most expensive gas in Florida is located in West Palm Beach-Boca Raton at $2.35, Tallahassee at $2.30 and Gainesville at $2.30. The cheapest gas is in Tampa at $2.17, Orlando at $2.17 and Fort Myers-Cape Coral at $2.21. Gas in Daytona Beach averaged at $2.25. For gas price averages in other Florida cities, go here.
(Chart courtesy of AAA)
Many factors are affecting gas prices including the solar eclipse, hurricane season outlook and refinery issues. Cities in the path of the eclipse are expected to have gas shortages and higher prices due to an increased tourist presence.
“AAA discourages motorists from watching the solar eclipse while driving,” said Jenkins. “Motorists should realize other drivers may be attempting to watch the eclipse and drive at the same time. To help prevent trouble, reduce your speed and keep additional space between you and other vehicles. The better option is to find a safe place to park, and then observe the eclipse.”
Higher prices at the pump last week are believed to be linked to the development of storms systems in the Atlantic. At this time, the storms are not expected to develop into major tropical storms or hurricanes, but the season is anticipated to be very active. 45% of the U.S. petroleum refining capacity is in the Gulf of Mexico and if a storm were to impact the area, gas prices would climb.
Several refineries in Texas were momentarily shut down due to maintenance issues and fire, which also lead to an increase in gas price.
Copyright Southern Stone Communications 2017.