The national average for a gallon of gasoline rose a nickel over the past week to hit $3.32, according to AAA. In Florida, the average price for a gallon of gas is $3.17, with Osceola’s average price for a gallon at $3.13. The primary driver of this surge remains the cost of crude oil, which is now closing daily above $80 a barrel. In August, the price of crude was in the low $60s per barrel.
“Compared to the price of gas a year ago, it now costs consumers about $17 more to fill up their vehicles,” said Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson. “That’s the cost of a large pizza with toppings. And unfortunately, it doesn’t look like drivers will be finding relief at the pump any time soon.”
According to new data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), last week’s total domestic gasoline supply fell by 2 million barrels of crude oil to 223.1 million while demand for gasoline demand also fallen. Typically, softening demand results in some easing of pump prices, but the higher cost for crude is blocking this. With oil prices remaining elevated, pump prices will follow suit because the cost of crude oil accounts for more than half of the price of each gallon of gas.
- Slow down and drive the speed limit. On the highway, aerodynamic drag causes fuel economy to drop off significantly as speeds increase above 50 mph.
- Avoid “jackrabbit” starts and hard acceleration – that can increase fuel consumption.
- When driving in town, if possible adjust your speed to “time” the traffic lights. Less braking and accelerating can help save gas
- If the “Check Engine” light comes on, head over to the repair shop as soon as possible. There may be a problem causing excessive emissions and likely reducing fuel economy.
- Keep tires properly inflated. Under-inflation reduces fuel economy and can cause tires to wear more rapidly.
Forecasts from the International Energy Agency for more robust oil demand, especially heating oil this winter, are also keeping crude oil prices elevated.
Today’s national average of $3.32 is 13 cents more than a month ago, $1.16 more than a year ago, and 67 cents more than in 2019.