Expect to keep paying more at the pump

Rising gas prices, average price of unleaded in Florida is $2.52. Photo courtesy WCTV

Gas prices are increasing all across the country, and they show no sign of coming down soon.

 Harsh weather conditions halted oilproduction at many refineries, and with hundreds of thousands of power outages in Texas and other areas, consumers can expect the demand to eclipse the supply during the coming weeks.

The American Automobile Association reported last week that crude oil prices have gone up and, along with restoring the refineries from tough winters ,has led to a continued increase in gas prices.

 “Gas prices continue to increase, with the national average up nine cents on the week to $2.72. That is a 30-cent increase from the beginning of February, 28 cents more than a year ago and the most expensive daily national average since August 2019. The latest price jumps are a direct result of February’s winter storm that took 26 U.S. refineries offline and pushed refinery utilization from an average of about 83% down to an atypical low of 68%, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA),” AAA reported this week.

The report also stated there is likely to be a boost in travel due to the vaccine rollout, and many people are finding their way back to normal day-to-day activities. Also, with the implementation of another government stimulus check, you can expect to see more people driving, and that will also cause gas prices to go up.

Some find this information to be relative to past years. Ohio native Anje Files says the weather has always been a factor in gas prices regardless of the pandemic.

“I can already see people are quick to place blame on the Biden administration for gas prices and are quick to forget there are other factors at play here, especially in states where the structures are not equip for harsh winters like Texas. People have a tendency to gripe about a lot of nothing without knowing all the facts,” Files said.

AAA forecasts the national gas price average to hit at least $2.80 in March. With summer chasing shortly behind, we can expect increases throughout the year as the demand continues to increase.

Although the pandemic has altered production across all industries, some consumers are not surprised with recent changes. Tallahassee native Kenisha Brooks is not a fan of the gas prices increasing but isn’t shocked that the price is where it is.

“Gas prices go up every year around this time, pandemic or not, so I’m not really sure why people get so wound up on the price. We need gas regardless, so all I can do is hope that the price doesn’t go over $3, because then we might see some angry folks,” Brooks said.

As the refineries come back on line, consumers should hope to see some sign of stability.