WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The pain at the pump continues for drivers, and it just got a little worse.
The average for a gallon of regular gas reached an all-time high of $4.374 in the U.S. on Tuesday after increasing by 5 cents overnight, AAA said.
In the past two weeks, the national average for a gallon of gasoline has risen 25 cents.
The increase is primarily due to the high cost of crude oil, which was hovering near $100 a barrel Tuesday after surging to $110 last week.
The leader of the European Union called on the 27-nation bloc last week to phase out imports of crude oil within six months and refined products by the end of the year, causing oil prices to spike.
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"With the cost of oil accounting for more than half of the pump price, more expensive oil means more expensive gasoline," AAA spokesperson Andrew Gross said.
Gas prices are slightly lower in Florida than the national average but have increased in recent weeks after a slight dip in April.
The average price for a gallon of gas in Florida is currently $4.282 with Palm Beach County leading the state at $4.446, according to AAA.
The cost to fill up on the Treasure Coast is slightly lower than in South Florida with drivers paying $4.344 in Martin County, $4.30 in St. Lucie County and $4.319 in Indian River County.
Before the surge in fuel costs, driver Shadae Lewis said she was paying about $50 to fill up her gas tank.
But Tuesday, at $4.99 a gallon, she shelled out a whopping $85.
"It's a lot, but you’re going to need gas … you got places to go, so you can't really argue about it," Lewis said.
Gas prices in Florida hit previous record levels in early March, reaching $4.21 per gallon.
These figures are a dramatic increase from what Florida drivers were paying at this time last year when the average price to fill up was $2.876.
AAA said fuel prices could continue to rise as the global oil supply remains tight and the market remains highly volatile.
"We're seeing steady drops in gasoline supply here in the United States, and that's ultimately driving gas prices higher," AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins said. "So, you have less supply at a time when demand is really increasing because of summer travel right around the corner."
According to a report released Tuesday from AAA, people living in the Sunshine State are more comfortable traveling now than at any other time since the pandemic began.
The study found that 51% of Floridians still plan to travel this summer while finding other ways to offset the high costs of fuel.
"They might be taking shorter trips, traveling closer to home, fewer trips or just making adjustments in their budget," Jenkins said.
But for residents like Alfonso Pagan, that won't be the case. He said his vacation money this summer will be going toward his gas tank and rent.
"And now the new lease is $1,800, so it's not as easy especially if you live by yourself. No, [I] can't afford it," Pagan.