Tampa gas prices drop 3.4 cents, as national average rises

TAMPA - Tampa's gas prices have dropped 3.4 cents in the last week, averaging $3.59 Sunday according to GasBuddy.com data.

The city's average is 14.4 cents lower than one month ago, compared to the national average, dropping 1.3 cents lower last month.

Tampa's prices have faired much better than a majority of the country, which has increased 0.6 cents per gallon, averaging $3.80.

"Thanks largely due to the situation in California, the national average rose slightly in the last week…the good news for Californians is to expect relief this week," said Senior Petroleum Analyst at GasBuddy.com Patrick DeHaan.

The situation DeHaan is referring to is California's all-time-high gas prices topping out at $4.65.

Analysts claim refinery and transmissions problems led to the spike, in addition to a California mandate that requires a cleaner-burning gasoline from April to October.

In an effort to drive the prices down, state smog regulators have been ordered to allow the winter-blend gasoline to be sold in California earlier than usual.

Tampa's average is still 34.1 cents higher than it was a year ago, and the national average is 37.2 higher than it was this time last year.

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