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Florida gas prices spike to highest since July 2019

Weather in the Gulf Coast to blame, expert says

Part of the reason you are paying more at the pump is because of supply issues caused by the winter weather on the Gulf Coast.
Part of the reason you are paying more at the pump is because of supply issues caused by the winter weather on the Gulf Coast. (Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Florida’s average gas price jumped 15 cents in the past week, reaching the highest level the state has seen in 19 months.

The state average for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline is $2.61 on Monday morning, the steepest price at the pump since July 2019.

Part of the reason for the rise is the winter weather that sapped power from refineries in Texas and neighboring states, says Mark Jenkins, a spokesman for the American Automobile Association.

“This pump price hike is similar to what you’d expect if a hurricane struck the Gulf Coast region,” Jenkins said. “Just like the aftermath of a hurricane, workers are working to return to normal operations. Any reports of extended downtime or significant supply impacts could cause another round of rising prices.”

Jenkins said the weather also interfered with fuel shipments out of the Gulf Coast, noting that much of Florida’s gasoline comes from refineries in Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi. “This region is a major source of gasoline in the United States, accounting for more than 45% of total U.S. petroleum refining capacity,” AAA said in a news release. “This storm reportedly impacted a little more than half of refinery capacity in the Gulf Coast region.”

Jenkins notes that there is not a gasoline shortage, but that concerns about production led to crude oil prices climbing 3% last week.

South Florida’s gas prices are higher than the state average. According to AAA, on Monday morning the average cost was:

  • $2.620 in Miami-Dade County
  • $2.634 in Broward County
  • $2.645 in Monroe County
  • $2.711 in Palm Beach County

For more info on Florida gas prices, click here. The national average is $2.635 per gallon.

At the start of 2021, Floridians were paying an average of $2.20 per gallon.

Experts have continued to say that the recent rise in gas prices is not a reflection of Joe Biden taking over the White House. While Biden’s policies could eventually lead to higher prices, the recent increases have been about supply and demand, says Patrick De Haan, an analyst for Gas Buddy.

Prior to this week’s price leap, there was an increase in gasoline demand resulting from confidence about future travel as COVID-19 vaccines rolled out, experts said.

About the Author:

David Selig is the Digital Executive Producer at WPLG, overseeing Local10.com.