Cold temperatures partly responsible for higher gas prices


Published: Monday, January 11, 2010 at 7:42 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 11, 2010 at 7:42 a.m.

Frigid temperatures are getting some but not all of the blame for the most recent hike in gas prices.

Facts

Average unleaded gas prices in Florida

Current – $2.781

Week ago – $2.686

Month ago – $2.679

Year ago – $1.830

Source: AAA

Analysts are spreading around the blame for gas prices rising to their highest level in 15 months. Contributing factors also include the weak U.S. dollar, rising crude oil prices, and scheduled refinery shutdowns, according to GreggLaskoski, managing director of public relations for AAA Auto Club South.

Retail Fuel Watch noted that wholesale prices jumped by nearly 15 cents per gallon over the past three weeks. At the same time, gas prices have risen because oil futures prices rose and the weak dollar encouraged traders to spend on commodities to create a hedge against inflation.

“Crude oil and retail gasoline prices are rising for a variety of reasons right now, and the harsh weather is just one component,” Laskoski said in his weekly news release. “It doesn’t help that the dollar is weakening at the same time refineries have begun planned shutdowns for seasonal maintenance. This occurs just about every year at this time because demand for gasoline and diesel is traditionally pretty weak in January and February.”

Prices at the gas pump rose by a dime a gallon in Florida over the past week, according to AAA's calculations.

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