Floridians preparing to travel for the holiday will see a bit of relief at the pump this week, but gas prices are still likely to remain high.
State gas prices continue to decline and have dropped 14 cents in the past two weeks.
But in Palm Beach County, which usually has the highest gas prices in the state, the price actually increased: from $4.97 last week to $5.01 this week on average for a gallon of regular gas.
The good news, at least for much of the state outside of Palm Beach County, came because concerns about the economy following the Fed's increase of the interest rate by .75 of a percentage point — the biggest hike since 1994 — have led to a drop in crude and oil prices.
Even though the price of oil has declined by 11% percent in the past two weeks, American pocketbooks will still feel pain at the pump.
"Despite the recent declines, gas prices are still likely to be the highest for this holiday in history," said AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins.
The price of gas in the Sunshine State hit a record high June 13 with an average cost per gallon landing at $4.89.
Sunday, the average price in Florida for regular unleaded was $4.68 per gallon; a 15-gallon tank would cost $70.
Last year, the average price on the Fourth of July in Florida was $3.01 per gallon.
Florida's Sunday average still falls below the national average of $4.90 per gallon.
The price of crude dropped about $3 to $107 per barrel last Friday,
AAA expects Fourth of July travel to break records this year, with more than 42 million Americans, over 150,000 more than last year, hitting the road for the holiday.
More than 2.3 million of those will be Floridians.
It will cost about $25 more to fill your gas tank this year. On Sunday, the state average price for regular unleaded was $4.68 per gallon. That's $70 for a full 15-gallon tank. Holiday travelers paid $3.01 per gallon on July 4, 2021; and $2.68 per gallon on July 4, 2019.
AAA expects the roads to begin getting busing Thursday and Friday afternoons as commuters leave work early and mix with holiday travelers.
Following Palm Beach County, the next highest-priced has were Fort Lauderdale ($4.93) and Port St. Lucie ($3.92). The least expensive gas in the state is in the Crestview-Fort Walton Beach area ($4.68), Pensacola ($4.69) and Panama City ($4.73).
The heavy traffic this Fourth of July may also be seen on the waters
The Boat Owners Association of The United States, an advocacy, services and safety group for recreational boaters, says that because of recent high gas prices, many boaters throughout the country have been boating less to save money, and instead are waiting for the Fourth of July to get out on the water.
That, BoatUS says, could result in one of the busiest on-water holidays in decades.
“We are anticipating a tsunami of boaters like never before seen,” said John Condon, vice president of towing services for BoatUS. “While trends showed a steep decline in our service calls for assistance since Memorial Day, our members are telling us that they’re waiting until the July Fourth holiday weekend to take their boats out.” The number of requests the on-water towing service receives from boaters can be a barometer of boating traffic, indicating peak boating periods, the organization said.
In fact, BoatUSA says that the trend of waiting for key holidays to boat is a trend this year. During the second quarter of 2022 when gas prices started to rapidly increase, TowBoatUS’s call centers saw a 22% increase in calls during Memorial Day weekend. It dropped 30% after the holiday.
This article originally appeared on Tallahassee Democrat: Florida gas prices: Highest in July 4th history despite 14 cent drop