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Gas prices are the highest they've been in Central Florida since 2014, thanks to the pandemic

Photo: Pixabay
Photo: Pixabay

Most drivers are paying over 3 dollars a gallon to fill up.

The average price at the pump is near $3.18 a gallon, the highest Floridians have paid to fill up their tanks since 2014. 

AAA’s Mark Jenkins says crude oil producers became accustomed to the lower demand for gas during the COVID-19 pandemic, and stopped making as much.

But now Jenkins says with demand rising as people return to work and school, the supply chain can’t ramp back up quickly enough, driving up the cost.

“Now as demand has returned that crude oil production is still lagging behind. You can’t just flip a switch and everything just goes back to normal, it does take time to ramp things back up. So with there being a bit of a supply shortage or the global oil market is tight, that has caused crude oil prices to skyrocket and they’re dragging gas prices with it.”

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Jenkins says a shortage of natural gas in Asia and Europe is also forcing consumers in that market to turn to crude oil adding even more demand onto an already small supply. 

“And again, I mean the crude oil market is already tight enough and then when you add more countries, and more demand to that mix, it just makes prices even higher.”

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Jenkins says he doesn’t expect prices at the pump to balance out again in the Sunshine State until the new year.

Danielle Prieur covers education in Central Florida.