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Gas Below $2 A Gallon In Tampa Bay? Coronavirus Concerns Could Make This Possible

Carl Lisciandrello
WUSF Public Media
Concerns over coronavirus could cause gas prices to drop below $2 a gallon in Florida.

Don't be surprised to see gas prices dip below $2 a gallon in Florida this week for the first time since 2016.

That's the word from AAA after the price of crude oil dropped drastically on Sunday night.

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In a news release Sunday, AAA officials said the price of crude had dropped from $53 a barrel to just around $33 in the last two weeks. They attributed the drop to concerns over coronavirus, leading to lower demand for jet fuel and gasoline. Saudi Arabia's decision to boost oil production is also having an effect.

"At the rate fuel prices are falling on the stock market, Florida drivers could easily begin seeing sub-$2 gasoline this week," AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins said. "The only potential upward pressure on pump prices is spring maintenance season.

“If the state average eventually drops below $2 per gallon, it would be the first time in four years. How long this holds or how low prices go will rely on where stock market prices go from here."

The average price for gas in Florida dropped seven cents in the last week, to $2.28. Orlando has the cheapest gas among metro areas, at $2.18.

In Tampa Bay, Hillsborough and Pinellas counties are the cheapest, at $2.20 a gallon.

I wasn't always a morning person. After spending years as a nighttime sports copy editor and page designer, I made the move to digital editing in 2000. Turns out, it was one of the best moves I've ever made.