TAMPA - There is no letup in the escalation of Florida's gasoline prices.
And don’t expect one anytime soon, according to the American Automobile Association.
Prices for a gallon of regular unleaded increased about a nickel in the last five days — and by 42 cents in the past month.
Still to come are the price pass-alongs from the latest rises in crude oil prices. For the first time since September 2008, crude oil prices climbed to $104.42 a barrel on Friday. That’s $6.54 more than a week ago, according to the American Automobile Association.
And on Monday, crude prices were even higher: $106 to $108 per barrel, AAA spokeswoman Jessica Brady said Monday.
She blames that on an oil market being nervous about Mideast unrest, particularly in Libya, despite OPEC’s increased output.
“Unfortunately we don’t have a clear picture of how this will unfold,” she said.
The last time average gas prices hit $4 in Florida was on July 25, 2008. And the highest average price, since 2000, was $4.07. That was just before the economic collapse that continues to constrain spending.
On Monday, Tim Williams carefully tapped the last drop of gasoline from the nozzle in his motorcycle’s fuel tank. The fuel price increases have nudged the 58-year-old lifelong Florida resident out of his Dakota pickup truck and onto his more fuel efficient motorcycle. “I’m taking it better (the prices) now,” he said at a Chevron gas station.
Winter resident Russ O’Connor, 65, is flying back to Connecticut on an airline ticket he purchased before the recent fuel prices increases. A return flight could be more expensive.
In Connecticut, he runs a sand and gravel trucking business with 10 trucks that each get 6 miles to the gallon, he said. Higher fuel prices “can be bad for business,” he said.
Average statewide prices were roughly $3.54 a gallon for regular unleaded, according an American Automobile Association price report released early Monday.
Florida’s increases add up to 16 cents in the past week and 76 cents in the past year. A year ago the average price, of regular unleaded in Florida, was $2.78.
AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge report, found at fuelgaugereport.aaa.com , lists daily gas prices.
To find the Tampa Bay area's lowest prices, click here .
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