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After 99 days in decline, price for gasoline up a penny

Prices soared above $5 per gallon over the summer, adding to financial pressure on families and a creating a potential headache for the Biden administration.
Jennifer Quinn fills her SUV at a gas station in Needham, Mass., in March. The average price of regular gasoline nationwide was up slightly Wednesday, the first time prices have climbed in 99 days.
Jennifer Quinn fills her SUV at a gas station in Needham, Mass., in March. The average price of regular gasoline nationwide was up slightly Wednesday, the first time prices have climbed in 99 days. [ STEVEN SENNE | AP ]
Published Sep. 21|Updated Sep. 21

After 99 consecutive days of declining gasoline prices, the cost for a gallon edged a penny higher Wednesday.

The national average price rose to about $3.68 per gallon, according to AAA, but prices have been in steady decline. Wednesday’s average is lower than the week-ago average of $3.70 per gallon and well below last month’s average of $3.90 per gallon.

Prices soared above $5 per gallon over the summer, adding to financial pressure on families and a creating a potential headache for the Biden administration. While the White House has no role in determining what you pay at the pump, gas prices are always a political issue.

The cost of almost everything has spiked as the global economy emerges from the pandemic, but the price of gasoline is something Americans watched ticking higher daily this year at every corner gas station.

Florida motorists paid an average of $3.41 a gallon for regular unleaded gasoline Monday, according to AAA. Monday’s average price was down 3 cents from a week earlier and 15 cents from a month earlier. Florida set a record with an average of $4.89 a gallon on June 13.

The average price remains higher than a year ago, when it was $3.10 a gallon. The most expensive gas in Florida is in the West Palm Beach, Tallahassee and Miami areas, while the cheapest is in the Pensacola, Fort Walton Beach and Panama City areas, according to AAA.

Gasoline prices roughly follow crude, and the cost of a gallon peaked in the middle of June as a barrel of crude crossed the $120 barrier. Crude prices have tumbled more than 20% since then and gasoline prices are following along.

There are a number of factors that could keep prices where they are, and potentially send them higher, including the weather.

The hurricane season officially begins in June, but most storms threaten the U.S. from August to October. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says the likelihood of increased hurricane activity this year is 65%.

Reporting from the News Service of Florida contributed to this report.

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