By Jordan Kirkland, The Capitolist
Florida gas prices continue to skyrocket thanks to arctic weather causing chaos on the Gulf Coast refinery region.
The average price of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline rose by 15 cents, putting a $2.61 per gallon price tag at the pump for Florida drivers. The jump at the pump is the highest since July of 2019, according to the American Automobile Association (AAA).
Mark Jenkins, a spokesman for the AAA, says the jump in price is due to winter storms wreaking havoc on oil refineries in Texas and adjacent states.
“This pump price hike is similar to what you’d expect if a hurricane struck the Gulf Coast region,” Jenkins said. “Just like the aftermath of a hurricane, workers are working to return to normal operations. Any reports of extended downtime or significant supply impacts could cause another round of rising prices.”
AAA also noted that freezing temperatures halted refiners and fuel shipments out of the Gulf Coast — where much of Florida’s gasoline comes from. States like Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee and Kansas have seen outages thanks to winter storms. Many of these states, however, are expected to resume operations this week.
“This region is a major source of gasoline in the United States, accounting for more than 45% of total U.S. petroleum refining capacity,” AAA said in a news release. “This storm reportedly impacted a little more than half of refinery capacity in the Gulf Coast region.”
Areas like West Palm Beach ($2,71), Boca Raton ($2.71), and Fort Lauderdale ($2.64) saw the highest increase in gas prices across the state, while counties such as Okaloosa ($2.54), Escambia ($2.57), Santa Rosa ($2.59), and Walton ($2.59) posted some of the lowest prices.
The national average sits at $2.64 per gallon.