Florida gas prices back on the rise

Photo credits: Lebaron Fields

Gas prices throughout Florida have constantly fluctuated for many reasons, internationally and domestically. With the economy being uncertain and many other living expenses rising, consumers feel the added impact of increasing gas prices.

According to AAA Gas Prices, which surveys over 130,000 stations, Florida’s gas price exceeds the national average by a little over eight cents at $3.583, around a 15-cent surge from the week before. 

Internationally, the surging price can be attributed to China reopening its economy after relaxing its Covid-19 precautions. Due to most Chinese citizens being on lockdown, oil consumption was impacted, and the demand fell.

In a quote from AAA’s newsroom, Mark Jenkins, Public Relations Manager of AAA – The Auto Club Group, stated, “Florida drivers might be surprised to hear that China is having a direct impact on what they pay at the pump.” 

“China is the largest oil importer in the world, and since oil is a globally traded commodity, global fluctuations in supply and demand have a direct effect [on] local prices – just as they always have,” Jenkins said.

Domestically, it is likely that gas prices will continue to rise as we continue heading into the winter months. According to GasBuddy, which acquires data from more than 140,000 stations, increased demand and low supply will drive up oil and gas prices.

“Concerns are increasing that without additional oil, supply will tighten in the weeks ahead, especially as the nation starts to move away from softer demand in the height of winter. Moving forward, it doesn’t look good for motorists, with prices likely to continue accelerating,” said Patrick De Haan, GasBuddy head of petroleum analysis.

The Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) is the world’s largest emergency oil supply. According to the U.S. Department of Energy (energy.gov), “SPR oil is sold competitively when the President finds, pursuant to the conditions outlined in the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA), that a sale is required.” The Biden administration used the SPR to ease the strain of gas prices for consumers. 

Battles in Congress have ensued over the use of the SPR. Congressional Republicans have proposed H.R. 21, a bill restricting the federal government’s power to use the reserve to increase domestic drilling and oil production. 

In a press briefing, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm stated, “But H.R. 21 would impose unnecessary, unhelpful restrictions on when the SPR can be used to help provide supply. It would require these arbitrary reports regarding energy production on federal lands before waiving any new restrictions. It would not offer any tangible benefits to the American people. Instead, it would interfere with our ability to be responsive to release oil de- — during an international emergency,

Granholm continues, “Today, the SPR remains the largest strategic petroleum reserve in the world. And with our plans to refill it at the lowest — you know, at lower prices than what we sold at the SPR not only saved Americans money, but these releases will end up delivering a return for taxpayers.”

Unfortunately, it does not look like consumers will get immediate relief in gas prices. Consumer-focused companies such as AAA, GasBuddy, and NerdWallet offer resources to help save at the pump.

Photo credits: gaspricess.aaa.com