For now, at least, it seems gas prices are staying the same.
The average price for a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline is $2.46 statewide — and about six cents cheaper than at the beginning of the holiday season last month.
And even though crude oil prices rose last week to $78.05 per barrel, retail gasoline prices remained the same through the Christmas weekend, according to a news release from AAA Auto Club South.
Increasing crude oil prices, along with those for heating oil and natural gas, have been attributed to a forecast that the eastern United States will see colder weather than normal this week. Temperatures in Gainesville may drop below 30 degrees this week, and may not rise above 51 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.
Cold weather increases the demand on U.S. refineries for heating oil and gasoline, but AAA does not project that the increased demand will affect gasoline prices across the country, according to the news release.
“While the price at the pump generally moves in tandem with crude oil, there are occasions when crude can increase but retail gasoline might remain unchanged or even decline,” said Gregg Laskoski, managing director of public relations, AAA Auto
“In this instance gasoline prices haven’t risen yet, because even with a decrease in oil, there is still an extraordinary amount of inventory, with crude oil (+11 million barrels) and gasoline stocks (+13 million barrels) well above last year’s levels at this time.”
And Jessica Brady, a public relations specialist with AAA Auto Club South, said prices have not increased this holiday season with the increased fuel consumption associated with holiday travel. AAA projects that, despite the economic recession, there will be a 3.8 percent increase in travel from Dec. 23 to Jan. 3 over the same holiday period last year.