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Tensions with Iran could cause spike in gas prices, AAA says

Posted at 6:31 AM, Jan 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-06 17:19:40-05

ROYAL PALM BEACH, Fla. — Gas prices could climb even higher due to the growing tensions in the Middle East, according to AAA.

The average price of a gallon of gas in Florida on Monday is $2.53, which is about 7 cents per gallon higher than just a few days ago.

AAA says that increase was already in motion before the U.S. air strike that killed Iranian General Qasem Soleimani last week.

However, once the air strike happened, crude oil prices jumped nearly $2 a gallon, according to AAA. The association said an increase of that amount can directly trigger a 5-cent hike at the pump.

"What happens in the Middle East can have a direct impact on Americans' daily lives, by influencing what they pay at the pump," said AAA spokesperson Mark Jenkins. "Many people don't realize that half of what they pay for every gallon of gasoline is determined by the price of oil. Even though the U.S. is producing oil at a record pace, that oil is bought an sold on the stock market, which is heavily influenced by global supply and demand. Crude prices rise when there's a threat of war, because of concerns over how the conflict could hamper supply and demand. It's still far too early to know how much of an impact this conflict will have overall on prices at the pump. We'll likely have a better idea early this week."

Florida drivers are paying the highest prices for gas since early December. Current prices are about 30 cents higher than this time last year.

AAA said gas prices are off to their most expensive start to a new year since 2014.

Two of the state’s most expensive metro markets are in our area. West Palm Beach-Boca Raton is one of them with an average price of $2.63 a gallon. The other is Port St. Lucie, with an average price of $2.56.

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