Floridians see gas prices rise, could reach $4 by summer

Fuel prices increased from $2.98 to $3.26 within a week, AAA shows

TITUSVILLE, Fla.Fuel prices are on the rise once again, and in Florida, there’s been a sharp increase in just the last week.

According to AAA, the average price for a gallon of gas in Florida is now $3.26, up from last week’s average of $2.98.

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Brevard County resident Jerry Wall said he’s paying an extra $80 a month in fuel costs.

“I cut back on my medicine and food because food went up too,” Wall said.

Bob Gilbert was also filling up his car on Monday and said he feels the cost of gas is out of the nation’s control.

“It’s a global market,” Gilbert said. “Gas prices go up, gas prices go down, there’s nothing you or I can do about it, or the president or any other president.”

However, gas prices — like many other goods — have been subject to high inflation spurred on by COVID-19 lockdowns and federal restrictions on energy markets, according to economist Sean Snaith.

“When we came to our senses and started opening the economy back up, there was just — not just for gasoline and oil but for a variety of goods and services — just an explosion of demand,” Snaith told News 6 earlier this year.

Snaith, the director of UCF’s Institute for Economic Forecasting, pointed to federal green-energy initiatives, saying that they’ve caused oil and natural gas industries to cut back on production. With a lack of available supply, prices could remain high.

Industry experts have also pointed to other governmental actions as the part of the cause behind higher gas prices, such as the cancelation of lease sales without creating new ones.

On Monday, AAA reported the national average was at $3.21 a gallon. In Central Florida, Brevard and Seminole counties have some of the lowest prices with their averages at $3.25 a gallon.

“It’s just huge, giant, petrochemical corporations and they set the price and we live with it,” Gilbert said.

Gilbert said he and his wife have changed some of their transportation habits because of high prices.

“We drive less than we used to and walk when possible,” Gilbert said.

Another fuel price monitoring company, GasBuddy, is predicting fuel prices could be around the $4 mark this summer.

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Emily joined WKMG-TV in November 2022.

Anthony, a graduate of the University of Florida, joined ClickOrlando.com in April 2022.