Posted: Monday, February 24th 2014 at 6:18am
Severe winter weather blamed for hike in gas prices
TAMPA, Fla. – Winter storms responsible for flight cancellations and hazardous roads over the past month and a half can also be attributed to the rise in gas prices.
The freezing weather bolstered demand for heating fuels like natural gas and propane, which are derived from crude oil and used to heat homes in the northeastern United States. The spike in demand for these fuels tightened supplies, placing upward pressure on the price of oil.
Crude oil rose for the sixth consecutive week, settling Friday at $102.20 on the NYMEX -- $1.90 more than the week prior.
U.S. prices increased for the 16th consecutive day Sunday, reaching the highest level this year. Average prices rose for the sixth consecutive day in Florida, Georgia and Tennessee.
"Despite the recent jump in pump prices, Southeast gas prices are more than 40 cents less than they were this time last year,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA - The Auto Club Group. “Even with the severe winter and seasonal refinery maintenance, it doesn't look like gas prices will spike to year-ago levels."
The national average for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline is $3.41, 6 cents more than last week. Florida's average of $3.45 rose 6 cents from last week. Georgia’s average of $3.28 jumped 7 cents, while Tennessee's average of $3.19 rose 2 cents from last week.
Prices one month ago in Georgia averaged $3.21 a gallon; one year ago, the average price was $3.77.
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