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Gas prices climb higher in Palm Beach County, many stations seeing $4 a gallon

Highest gas prices in US since July 2008
Citgo Gas $4.29 Regular at US 1 and Seventh Ave N Lake Worth Beach, March 7, 2022
Posted at 1:41 PM, Mar 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-07 18:14:26-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The pain at the pump continues for South Florida drivers as fuel prices climbed to more than $4 a gallon at many stations.

The average price of a gallon of gas in Florida on Monday is now at $4.01, which is just under the national average of $4.07.

Palm Beach County continues to have among the highest fuel prices in the state with an average of $4.11, according to the American Automobile Association.

Most Expensive States:

  • California: $5.34
  • Hawaii: $4.69
  • Nevada: $4.59
  • Oregon: $4.51
  • Washington: $4.44
  • Alaska: $4.39
  • Illinois: $4.30
  • Connecticut: $4.28
  • New York: $4.26
  • Pennsylvania: $4.23

WATCH: AAA explains why gas prices are skyrocketing

Gas prices close to record highs in Florida, AAA says

As the conflict between Russia and Ukraine continues, the price of crude oil continues to soar, impacting gas prices in the U.S.

RELATED: Check gas prices across South Florida

Fuel prices have jumped 45 cents in a week and 62 cents in the last month.

The national average for gas has not been this high since July 2008, which was a result of the Great Recession.

During that time, gas prices in Florida reached an average of $4.08, according to AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins.

No one is being hit harder in the wallet than the business owners who use vehicles to make a living.

"I can give you the ballpark number of fuel costs per car is $500 a week," said Arnaldo Ricciulli, the owner at Park Limo Palm Beach.

He said that number has doubled in recent months for his business. His buses and cars go as far south as Miami.

Arnaldo Ricciulli, the owner at Park Limo of Palm Beach
Arnaldo Ricciulli shares how rising gas prices are impacting the bottom line of his limo business.

The spike in fuel costs is making it tougher for him to turn a profit.

"A lot of the smaller companies are going out of business, and we're getting those clientele, but it's going to get to the point where our prices will end up going up," Ricciulli said.

He said the cost increase could lead him to raise his prices and look for alternatives.

"We're contemplating maybe going electric at this point," Ricciulli said. "That's the future goal — to switch from gas to electric."

Tom O'Hara is an independent plumber in West Palm Beach who travels from Tequesta to Boca Raton.

However, he is now looking to shorten his trips to save on fuel costs.

Tom O'Hara, plumber impacted by high gas prices
Tom O'Hara says he is looking to shorten his trips to save on fuel costs.

"I think if it hits $5 a gallon, I'm going to be wondering when it's going to stop," O'Hara said.

Right now he's reluctant to raise his fees, especially among his loyal customers.

"I used to give more discounts," O'Hara said. "I've just been kind of going with the regular rate because everybody is leaving me behind with prices."

The International Energy Agency said member states, including the U.S., Germany, Canada, South Korea and Mexico, committed Friday to release a total of 61.7 million barrels from their strategic reserves to help alleviate rising prices.

Gas prices in New Jersey, March 7, 2022
Gas prices are displayed at gas stations in Englewood, N.J., Monday, March 7, 2022. Gasoline prices are pushing even farther above $4 a gallon, the highest price that American motorists have faced since July 2008, as calls grow to ban imports of Russian oil.

RELATED: What options does Biden have to lower gas prices?

AAA said this amount — half of which is expected to come from the U.S. — is the largest coordinated release since IEA was founded in 1974.

Despite the release of oil, this total is small compared to the amount that is released from Russia and other countries.

According to the IEA, Russia exports about 5 million barrels a day of crude oil, representing about 12% of its global trade.

Drivers can expect gas prices to continue to climb as long as oil prices rise.

Oil production by country, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration
The United States produces about 20% of the world's oil, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.