Rising gas prices due to cold snap & increasing travel

Florida News

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Gas prices nationwide are rising; residents in Panama City said on Friday that they’ve noticed the increase.

“I think they kind of went up pretty significantly and pretty quick actually,” said one resident at a gas station on Jenks Avenue. “Just need to get control of this gas before it gets up to 3 dollars and everyone is already suffering enough.” 

According to the American Automobile Association, in Panama City, gas prices have risen almost 30 cents since last month, rising about ten cents in the last week alone.

AAA spokesman, Mark Jenkins, said Thursday that the increase is related to the recent cold weather across the country. 

“There was a big cold snap that occurred over in Texas and the surrounding region,” Jenkins said. “That had a big impact on the refineries over there.”

He said the power outages caused by the freezing temperatures put production on hold.

“Here in Florida, we rely on those refineries to provide us with our gasoline,” Jenkins said. “If there are power outages over there, then that impacts the overall supply of fuel, thus driving up the price of that commodity.”

He said that, combined with spring and summer travel ramping up as COVID-19 vaccines are distributed, could keep prices at the pump climbing.

“Demand is increasing at a time when there’s a little bit less supply because of a number of different reasons but primarily due to the refinery outages in Texas,” Jenkins said.

However, compared to the rest of the state, prices in Panama City remain some of the lowest among metro-areas. The highest prices are being reported in West Palm Beach at $2.77 per gallon on average.

Click here to see the AAA gas prices report.

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