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Gas Prices Rise Sharply Across Florida, But Pipeline Shutdown Not A Big Factor

Carl Lisciandrello/WUSF Public Media
WUSF Public Media
Gas prices rose 10 cents in the last week.

Prices rose 10 cents across the state, but the Southeast could feel a larger sting following the shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline.

Gas prices across Florida rose sharply last week, but could largely be spared as a pipeline shutdown could cause prices to spike across the Southeast.

According to a release from AAA, prices across the state increased 10 cents last week and now average $2.88 a gallon.

This is only 3 cents less than the highest price so far this year, according to AAA.

Prices are slightly lower in the greater Tampa Bay region, ranging from $2.84 to $2.85 a gallon.

An increase in gas prices across the Southeast can be attributed to a shutdown of the nation’s largest pipeline, according to AAA.

The Colonial Pipeline carries gas from refineries in Texas to much of the Southeast and up the Eastern seaboard to New York Harbor.

In the release, AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins said Florida is largely not dependent on the pipeline for gas as it receives most of it from Gulf Coast refineries. Still, he said the shutdown could impact prices in Florida.

"The longer the pipeline is down, the greater the threat of rising gas prices," Jenkins said. "If operations are restored on Monday, drivers may see very little to no impact at the pump. A lengthy downtime, like a week, would be a different story. Sunday night, gasoline futures prices were up less than a nickel."

Colonial Pipeline Co. is reportedly developing a restart plan and will bring the full system back online when they believe it is safe to do so. There is currently no clear timeline on when that full restart will occur.

According to NPR, the pipeline was shut down following a ransomware attack, but a “system restart plan” could bring it back online before prices are too adversely affected.

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