Florida gas prices spike, experts point to the Middle East

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — AAA says the average cost for a gallon of gas in Florida went up five cents in the last week, up to $3.51 per gallon.


It’s causing local drivers to pull out extra change at the pump, literally.

Antonio Brown, a local driver I found at a Wawa on the southside, pulled out six cents from his pocket as we were talking.

“These gas prices have been hard on my pockets,” Brown says, “this is literally all I’ve got! I’ve got nothin’ else, man!”

No, this Antonio Brown isn’t the guy who plays for the NFL. But he still wishes the rising gas prices were all just a trick play.

“I’m working 3-4 jobs, don’t even have time to play with the kids, it’s just too expensive,” says Brown.

The rising prices are putting pain on many more pockets than Brown’s.

These are the latest average gas prices AAA has reported for Northeast Florida:

  • Baker County: $3.50 / gallon
  • Bradford County: $3.59 / gallon
  • Columbia County: $3.49 / gallon
  • Clay County: $3.48 / gallon
  • Duval County: $3.48 / gallon
  • Nassau County: $3.53 / gallon
  • Putnam County: $3.49 / gallon
  • St. Johns County: $3.47 / gallon
  • Union County: $3.61 / gallon

Some might blame it on inflation, but experts say there’s something else at play.

“Much of [the spike] was because of the implied attacks Iran suggested were on their way [last weekend],” says Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy.

De Haan says the threat of Iran’s attack on Israel Action News Jax told you about over the weekend pushed up prices here in the U.S.

De Haan says the petroleum market, for now, shouldn’t take much more of a blow since Israel didn’t report much damage when Iran carried out the attack Saturday night. But, with the chance Israel might fight back, De Haan says another spike in gas prices could be coming.

“If there’s any escalation between Israel and Iran, that could be a wild card,” De Haan says.

While tensions in the Middle East can cause oil prices to fluctuate, it’s worth noting the U.S. produces the greatest share of oil in the world, about 14.7%, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

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