By Matthew L. Higgins | Tampa.CBSlocal.com | Feb. 22, 2012
TAMPA (CBS Tampa) — Talk about pain at the pump! Some Florida drivers are spending nearly $6 a gallon to fill up their gas tanks.
According to GasBuddy.com, motorists are shelling out $5.89 for a gallon of regular gas at a Shell station in Lake Buena Vista, topping out at $5.99 a gallon for premium. It doesn’t get better at a Suncoast Energy station in Orlando, where drivers are paying $5.79 for a gallon of regular.
“Prices over in the Disney World area are much higher than any other place in Florida,” Jessica Brady, AAA spokeswoman, told CBS Tampa, adding that people regularly complain about gas prices in that area.
The Sunshine State is opening up its wallet, paying an average of $3.67 a gallon of unleaded gas, 12 cents more than the national average. And it’s only expected to go up.
“It doesn’t look like we will have relief at the pump anytime soon,” Brady told CBS Tampa. “I do think we will see prices surpass $4 a gallon. I think we will see that closer to spring time.”
One reason for the high prices is the conflict with Iran over the Strait of Hormuz. Iran has threatened to disrupt oil shipments through the waterway due to the European Union sanctions leveled against the country over its nuclear program, causing the price of crude to skyrocket. Trading on a barrel of crude today is a little over $106.
Another reason for the high gas prices: positive economic news. The drop in the unemployment rate and improved housing market numbers have caused gas and oil prices to rise.
“I know it frustrates quite a few consumers why positive news will lead to higher prices,” Brady told CBS Tampa. “It really just comes down to speculation.”
A third culprit behind the gas price boom is Greece. The EU’s bailout for the indebted country only adds to the global fuel demand.
And because of these reasons, Brady believes that Florida and the rest of the U.S. could see historic gas prices.
“I think this year we will see much higher highs.”
Believe it or not, those prices aren’t the highest in the nation. According to GasBuddy.com, motorists in Alaska are paying a whopping $6.34 for a gallon of regular at some gas stations. The cheapest gas can be found in Wyoming at $2.75 a gallon.