Florida drivers are facing an expensive commute as gas prices hit a record high both in the Sunshine State and nationwide.
The average cost of a regular gallon of gas in Florida rose to $4.46, just below the nationwide price of $4.43.
Florida’s new record was caused by an eight-cent jump on Wednesday and a six-cent jump Thursday in the overnight price and tops the previous record set in March by nine cents. The nationwide price of a gallon of gas has surged 26 cents in the last two weeks.
Drivers in Florida have faced rising gas prices all week. On Monday, it was at $4.21 per gallon. Tuesday, it was $4.28 and on Wednesday, it hit $4.32, Thursday it went to $4.40
In February, Florida drivers were paying an average of about $3.50 per gallon.
This comes as the Next News Network had previously reported the Northeastern states facing record-high gas prices earlier this week in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware.
AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins said on Monday that the rise in prices was expected after surging in the oil and gas futures market last week. The cost of crude oil was holding steady at $100 a barrel Tuesday after spiking to $110 last week.
Jenkins said that energy prices could continue to increase as the global oil supply remains tight. This is partially caused by the European Union’s move to phase out Russian oil imports within 6 months.
“Oil prices rose last week after the European Union announced plans to phase out imports of Russian oil by the end of the year. And yet, the oil price gains paled in comparison to what happened with gasoline. Gasoline futures soared to a new record high last week,” Jenkins said. “The increase is attributed to a combination of factors, including steady weekly declines in gasoline supplies and expectations that summer fuel demand will far outpace what we saw last year.”
Florida Democrat Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Nikki Fried issued an emergency rule Wednesday morning allowing gas stations to sell cheaper gasoline containing 15% denatured anhydrous ethanol, or E15, which is usually sold in the winter months.
Fried said in a news conference that this will immediately save Floridians 10 cents per gallon at the pump, though the price has jumped 14 cents since that announcement.