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Why Tampa Bay Is Paying More For Gas Than It Has In Months

Carl Lisciandrello / WUSF Public Media
WUSF Public Media

The average price of gas in Florida has spiked to its highest levels since March.

Gas prices across the greater Tampa Bay region have shot up to their highest levels in months.

According to AAA, the average price for a gallon of gas is now $2.20, an increase of 6 cents over last week.

This is the highest cost since March, as oil prices have returned to pre-pandemic levels.

AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins said optimism over a new stimulus bill and coronavirus vaccine have also contributed to the increase.

"Oil prices returned to pre-pandemic levels last week, so it should come as no surprise that gas prices followed suit," Jenkins said in a news release. "Fuel prices have been pressured higher by optimism surrounding a new stimulus package and Covid-19 vaccine news. These are two big pieces in the puzzle for long term improvement in fuel demand, which has been heavily hampered by the pandemic."

Despite the increase, gas prices are still 45 cents less than drivers spent last Christmas and a penny less than the average price two years ago.

And while gas prices are on the rise, AAA says it expects a busy holiday for travelers, with around 4.3 million Floridians taking a road trip around Christmas.

I wasn't always a morning person. After spending years as a nighttime sports copy editor and page designer, I made the move to digital editing in 2000. Turns out, it was one of the best moves I've ever made.