Florida gas prices hit highest levels of summer, AAA says

The state average for gas prices in Florida rose nearly 30 cents per gallon during the past two weeks, and the record-breaking heat is partially to blame by causing refinery outages along the Gulf Coast, according to AAA.

Duval County’s average gas price on Monday was $3.64 per gallon, in Clay County it was $3.65 and in St. Johns County it was $3.67 -- the same as the state average on Friday.

Although that was the highest daily average price for Florida since mid-April, it remains below the 2023 high of $3.72 per gallon.

“Oil prices are the primary culprit behind the recent jump at the pump,” said AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins. “The U.S. price of oil rose 15% through the past five weeks, which raised the cost of producing gasoline.”

Jacksonville drivers we spoke with are understandably upset.

One driver said, “I do think they’re getting out of control, and I seriously wish people would look at the big picture and see why these prices are so high.”

Another said, “So you know, do you want gas or do you want bread? It’s ridiculous.”

Earlier this month, when gas prices were lower, the U.S. price of oil traded at around $70 per barrel. On Friday, the price of oil settled at $80.58 per barrel.

According to AAA’s partners at the Oil Price Information Service (OPIS), prices are being sent higher by strong economic data, which raises expectations for fuel demand.

Additionally, record-breaking heat has led to some refinery outages along the Gulf Coast, leading to reductions in fuel output. The latest data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration shows refinery operations on the Gulf Coast last week at 93.3%. That’s down 1.5 percentage points from the previous week and significantly lower than the 97% rate refineries were operating at last year.

The most expensive gas prices are in West Palm-Boca Raton ($3.80), Naples ($3.72), Port St. Lucie ($3.71) and the least expensive gas in Florida can be found in Pensacola ($3.46), Crestview-Fort Walton Beach ($3.52), Panama City ($3.54)

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