TAMPA, Fla. — As Russia's invasion of Ukraine sent global oil markets into turmoil; gas prices in the Tampa Bay area are rising to levels not seen in more than a decade.
According to AAA, gas prices in the Tampa/St.Petersburg/Clearwater area is now at $3.97 gallon for unleaded. The prices jumped nearly $0.50 in a week as oil prices climbed above $100 a barrel last week and rose to nearly $130 a barrel in Monday morning trading.
The record-high average gas price for unleaded in the Tampa/St. Petersburg/Clearwater area is $4.00 a gallon in July 2008. The area is likely to climb past that price in the coming days. However, when adjusted for inflation, to truly break the record, average gas prices would have to exceed $5.12.
In Hillsborough County, gas stations off Hillsborough Avenue were posting regular unleaded at $4.19 a gallon for credit and $4.09 for cash. Drivers said this coupled with inflation makes things very hard on families.
“I’ve been around here for a long time, been in the gas business, or sales back in the day and I’ve never seen it this high, this is ridiculous," said Samuel Vento. "People are not gonna be able to buy gas and buy groceries or anything because it’s ridiculous.”
“My pick up is a Tacoma. The other day I put a half a tank and it was $37. It would be $75 to fill my truck up," said Joseph Yingling. "“Why do you think my wife’s letting me drive her car? So I will fill it up. I know why!”
AAA found the most expensive gas in the state, on average, was in the West Palm Beach/Boca Raton metro area at $4.11 a gallon for regular unleaded. The cheapest metro area in the state was in Sebring where the average for a gallon of unleaded was $3.96.
Nationally, the average price for a gallon of gas was $4.07 a gallon. The state with the cheapest gas was Missouri at $3.63 while California had the most expensive gas at $5.34 a gallon.