Florida gas prices set a record-high on Friday when they hit an average of $4.38 per gallon, and Bradenton area drivers were feeling the pain.
Tuesday morning, prices in the Bradenton area seemed to edge a bit lower, with many stations advertising regular at $4.29 a gallon, but higher, and lower, prices could be found.
Jean Stack was filling up at Thorntons, 4820 State Road 64 E., where gas was selling for $4.19 a gallon, one of the lower prices in town.
“When I am going this way, I always try to stop here. The prices are really hurting us. But there is a war in Ukraine. Those people are suffering a lot more than we are, and I am not going to complain. I’m not sure what the answer is,” Stack said.
Thorntons, with its lower prices, was busy Tuesday, while The Rivers Edge Mobil Mart across the street, which was advertising gas at $4.39 a gallon, was very quiet.
That was the trend: no panicked lines, and motorists flocking to stations where the prices were lower.
At Sam’s Club, 5300 30th St. E., the Tuesday morning price was $4.16 a gallon, while a nearby RaceTrac was advertising $4.29 a gallon.
Bob Bond was one of the motorists who got into line at Sam’s to await his turn at the pump.
“We have our own gas. Why are we buying it from foreign countries?” Bond said.
Bond, who is on Social Security, said a daughter is helping him with expenses.
“It is what it is,” Bond said.
Retiree Tom Houghton was also waiting at Sam’s, and said the spike in gas prices hasn’t hurt him because he doesn’t drive too much.
“My son in Maine is really getting clobbered with heating oil prices. It’s over $5 a gallon,” Houghton said.
Lyna Paff was also waiting her turn at Sam’s.
“You have to think about what you’re doing when you are on a fixed income,” she said. “We were planning to drive to Michigan for a couple of weeks, but we can’t do that now.”
A customer at WaWa, 4506 53rd Ave. E., declined to share his name but didn’t hold back on what he thought about gas prices.
“They are way too high. We need to start drilling in this country again. Prices are going to go over $5 a gallon,” he said.
The Friday price record smashed Florida’s previous record-high of $4.08 per gallon, which was set in July 2008.
Fuel prices have risen sharply following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Throughout the past two weeks, the U.S. price of oil surged a total of $32 per barrel (35%), reaching a daily high of $123.70 per barrel. In turn, that raised the price of other commodities like gasoline, AAA said this week.
Over the past two weeks, the state average rose a total of 90 cents per gallon. The cost to fill an average 15-gallon tank of gas is now around $65. That’s $23 more than what drivers paid this time last year, AAA said.
“The surge in fuel prices was driven by global supply concerns, as sanctions and regulations against Russia has limited the world’s third-largest oil producer from moving its oil in the market,” Mark Jenkins, AAA spokesman, said in a press release.
“After 7-consecutive trading days, that upward momentum finally came to a halt last week. Prices moved lower on reports that the U.S. and other countries were examining ways to increase global fuel supplies. Regardless of this, fuel prices remain extremely volatile right now, so it’s hard to know what drivers should expect next month, let alone next week,” Jenkins said.