Gas prices are expected to increase by as much as 20 cents a gallon by August.

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The New York Times 06 July, 2021 - 12:47pm 28 views

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AAA said on Tuesday that gas prices were expected to increase another 10 to 20 cents through the end of August.

The average price of a gallon of regular in the United States has risen to $3.13, according to AAA, up from $3.05 a month ago. A year ago, as the pandemic kept people home, a gallon of gas cost just $2.18 on average.

The rise comes amid a breakdown in talks among OPEC and its allies over whether to expand oil production as travel resumes and global demand recovers. The cartel has been unable to reach a deal despite multiple meetings since Thursday.

“Robust gasoline demand and more expensive crude oil prices are pushing gas prices higher,” Jeanette McGee, an AAA representative, said in a statement. “We had hoped that global crude production increases would bring some relief at the pump this month, but weekend OPEC negotiations fell through with no agreement reached. As a result, crude prices are set to surge.”

Scott Hanson of Western Springs, Ill., remembers when $40 was enough to fill up his gas tank last year, when he lost his job as an office manager due to the pandemic. Now, Mr. Hanson is paying over $60 to fill his Dodge Charger, making it harder to take his mother to her doctor appointments. Gas in Illinois is averaging $3.36 a gallon, according to AAA.

“It’s too much for too many people that lost their jobs or have low-paying jobs,” Mr. Hanson said on Tuesday. “Everything bad that could happen is happening all at once.”

Washington has seen one of the biggest spikes, with the price of regular gasoline rising 20 cents in the past month to $3.81, according to AAA. In California, which generally has some of the highest gas prices in the country, a gallon goes for $4.31.

Crude oil fell off its recent highs on Tuesday, with West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark, down more than 2.5 percent to about $73.15. But even those prices have not been seen since 2018, and they are far above the prices from early in the pandemic, when the price of a barrel hovered around $40.

As travel ground to a halt early last year, Russia, which is part of the group of allied oil producers known as OPEC Plus, refused to cut production, sparking a price war with Saudi Arabia, the de facto leader of OPEC, that helped drive prices to rock-bottom. Oil-producing nations finally agreed to cuts and have been operating mostly in lock-step for months, raising output slowly to keep prices high.

But the conciliatory nature of the agreement seems to have stalled, with OPEC Plus failing for days to come to a decision on production, and oil prices have fluctuated as traders await a result.

Gas prices have also been volatile as the economy has reopened. With a jump in travel already adding upward pressure, a cyberattack in May on a gas pipeline that provides nearly half of the East Coast’s fuel supplies led to panic buying, shortages in some areas and a temporary spike in prices.

Americans are also keeping a close eye on Tropical Storm Elsa, which is headed for the Gulf of Mexico and parts of Florida. The storm is unlikely to cause disruptions to Gulf Coast crude and gasoline productions as winds recede, according to AAA.

The spike reflected worry that the deadlock in OPEC Plus, the alliance of oil producers, means that too little oil would reach the markets at a time of growing consumption as the effects of the pandemic ease and summer travel booms.

The United Arab Emirates, which has invested in its oil capacity in recent years, is insisting on higher levels of production over objections from Saudi Arabia, a longtime ally, and other producers. Mediation efforts have so far not bridged the gap, and a new meeting has not been scheduled. The disarray in OPEC Plus raises the risk of a price war among producers, like the one in spring 2020, but some analysts think the group is more likely to figure out a way of gradually drip-feeding more oil into the market in the coming months, a move that would soften price jumps.

In a note to clients on Tuesday, analysts at Goldman Sachs wrote that many OPEC Plus countries had not made the investments to increase output to meet demand, presenting producers like the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Russia with “an opportunity to bring production to or near” record levels.

The Saudis, who have the ability to increase their output by more than three million barrels a day from the 8.5 million barrels a day in May, could intervene if the market overheats. The Biden administration has been slow to react to rising prices in recent months, but it is beginning to take notice.

All OPEC Plus members seem to agree on the need to raise output, but the deadlock has blocked a deal.

On the table at the meetings was a proposal by Saudi Arabia and Russia to increase production by 400,000 barrels a day each month for the rest of this year, beginning in August, eventually raising total output by two million barrels a day.

The Saudis want to make that increase conditional on extending an OPEC Plus output agreement from spring 2020 beyond its expiration date of April 2022. The United Arab Emirates wants any extension coupled with an upward recalculation of its production quota, which it says does not fairly reflect its output capacity.

The Pentagon had warned Congress in January that it would walk away from the contract if a federal court agreed to consider whether former President Donald J. Trump interfered in a process that awarded the $10 billion contract to Microsoft over its tech rival Amazon, saying that the question would result in lengthy litigation and untenable delays.

The Defense Department said Tuesday in a news release that the contract for the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, known as JEDI, “no longer meets its needs,” but it would solicit bids from Amazon and Microsoft on future cloud-computing contracts.

A senior administration official said that soon after the Biden administration took office, it began a review that quickly concluded the lengthy arguments over JEDI had been so costly that the old architecture would be outdated as soon as it was deployed.

“With the shifting technology environment, it has become clear that the JEDI cloud contract, which has been long delayed, no longer meets the requirements to fill the DoD’s capability gaps,’’ the Pentagon said in an announcement.

The new architecture will be called the Joint Warfighter Cloud Capability. And the Pentagon made clear that only Microsoft and Amazon Web Services, which currently provides cloud services to the C.I.A., had the capacity to build the new architecture.

But security concerns played a role as well, officials say. Recent breaches of cloud services have made it clear that there are vulnerabilities, and the Pentagon did not want to be dependent on one company for its technology.

The 10-year JEDI contract was awarded to Microsoft in 2019 after a fight among Amazon and other tech giants for the deal to modernize the military’s cloud-computing systems.

But Amazon sued to block the contract, arguing that Microsoft did not have the technical capabilities to fulfill the military’s needs and that the process had been biased against Amazon because of Mr. Trump’s repeated criticisms of Amazon’s founder, Jeff Bezos, who also owns The Washington Post.

The Washington Post aggressively covered the Trump administration, and Mr. Trump referred to the newspaper as the “Amazon Washington Post” and accused it of spreading “fake news.”

Mr. Trump said other companies should be considered for the JEDI contract, and Amazon argued he used “improper pressure” to sway the Pentagon as it selected a technology vendor. An Amazon spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Defense Department said Mr. Trump had not played a role in the decision. Microsoft said that Amazon’s claims of bias lacked evidence and that it was prepared to provide the necessary technology to the military.

In April, a federal court said it could not dismiss the possibility the Mr. Trump had meddled in the process. The court’s ruling set the stage for the Pentagon to walk away from the contract.

“The D.O.D. faced a difficult choice: Continue with what could be a years-long litigation battle or find another path forward,” Toni Townes-Whitley, Microsoft’s president of U.S. regulated industries, wrote in a blog post responding to the decision. “We stand ready to support the D.O.D. as they work through their next steps and its new cloud computing solicitation plans.”

Much of the military operates on outdated computer systems, and the Defense Department has spent billions of dollars trying to modernize those systems while protecting classified material. The Defense Department has argued that the extensive delays surrounding the contract caused national security concerns.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Ms. Hannah-Jones, a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine, had been appointed as the Knight Chair in Race and Investigative Journalism at U.N.C.’s Hussman School of Journalism and was supposed to start there this month. But her appointment had drawn criticism from conservative board members who took issue with her involvement in The Times’s 1619 Project, which re-examined slavery in the United States.

The board initially failed to approve tenure recommendations from the journalism school’s dean and faculty, effectively denying her tenure. Weeks later, after U.N.C. staff, students and prominent alumni spoke out against the board’s decision, and after Ms. Hannah-Jones said she had retained legal counsel and was considering filing a discrimination suit, the board reversed and offered her full tenure.

Ms. Hannah-Jones said Tuesday that the decision to decline the offer had been difficult and that the treatment of her by U.N.C., where she received a master’s degree, had been deeply painful.

“I, literally since the second grade, have been in white institutions,” she said in an interview, describing how she had to show again and again that she was worthy. “I’ve proven all that I’m going to prove. And I just really wanted to use the talent, the platform, the resources that I have managed to commit over time and to bring them to a Black institution where I won’t have to prove that, and where I can help other young, Black journalists — who come, many of them, from disadvantaged backgrounds themselves — to be able to compete.

Ms. Hannah-Jones, whose honors include receiving a “genius grant” from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, will be a tenured member of Howard University’s Cathy Hughes School of Communications, serving as the newly created Knight Chair in Race and Journalism. She will also found at the university the Center for Journalism and Democracy, which will train and support aspiring reporters in investigative skills and analytical expertise.

The author and journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates, another MacArthur fellow, will also join the faculty of Howard, which is one of the country’s leading historically Black colleges and universities.

“It is my pleasure to welcome to Howard two of today’s most respected and influential journalists,” said Wayne A. I. Frederick, Howard University’s president. “At such a critical time for race relations in our country, it is vital that we understand the role of journalism in steering our national conversation and social progress.”

Ms. Hannah-Jones said she had received offers from many prestigious universities and chose Howard because she had long wanted to help develop Black journalists and contribute to Black institutions.

“I was always conflicted about whether the place that had the most need for me, where the students had the most need for me, was going to be a predominantly white institution,” she said. “After what happened with North Carolina became public, after I started seeing the extent to which there was political intervention in this, it just became very clear to me that this was what I wanted to do now — that I didn’t need to try to find a workaround to try to work with H.B.C.U.s, that I could just go there.”

U.N.C. did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The 1619 Project traced the legacy of American slavery through essays, photography and a five-part podcast, and Ms. Hannah-Jones won a Pulitzer Prize for commentary last year for her introductory essay. The project has faced criticism from some historians, who have expressed reservations about some of its assertions. After publishing the project, The Times issued a clarification that only “some” colonists fought for independence primarily to defend slavery.

Jake Silverstein, the editor of The Times Magazine, has defended Ms. Hannah-Jones and her writing. “There’s no doubt that, given the chance to learn from Nikole, future graduates of the Center for Journalism and Democracy will create the sort of revealing and unflinching journalism that has been a hallmark of her work for decades,” he said in a note to New York Times staff on Tuesday.

Ms. Hannah-Jones will continue to write for the magazine, he said.

Late on Sunday, China’s internet regulator said there were “serious” problems related to the collection and use of customer data. Without explaining the problem, it said that Didi needed to correct them and “earnestly safeguard” users’ personal information. The drop on Tuesday reflected the first chance investors could react to China’s actions, as U.S. markets were closed on Monday for the July 4 holiday.

Didi Global listed shares on the New York Stock Exchange last week with a $14-a-share offering price, and its stock closed at $16.40 on Thursday. A few days after it went public, the same Chinese regulator issued another surprise announcement, saying on Friday that new user sign-ups on Didi would be suspended while the authorities conducted a “cybersecurity review.”

On Tuesday, the shares were trading at around $12 each.

The moves are part of a fast-moving effort by China to control the country’s internet industry, and a growing focus on the digital security practices of companies that sell shares abroad. On Tuesday, a policy document said the government would seek to toughen its oversight of how overseas-listed businesses manage and protect their data.

The document said that stronger regulation of companies and capital markets should be combined with broader efforts to maintain national security and social stability, an indication of how seriously Beijing now treats such issues.

On Monday, the authorities said that user registrations on three other Chinese platforms were being suspended for cybersecurity reviews. The two companies behind those platforms have also listed shares recently in the United States: Full Truck Alliance, which connects freight customers and truck drivers, and Kanzhun, which runs a job-hunting platform. Shares of both companies were sharply lower on Tuesday.

The S&P 500 index was down 0.6 percent, breaking a seven-day streak of gains.

Stocks in Europe were mostly lower. The Stoxx Europe 600 fell 0.5 percent, while London’s FTSE 100 dropped 0.9 percent.

Oil prices were volatile after OPEC and its oil-producing allies again failed to reach an agreement on proposed production increases. Futures of West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. crude benchmark, touched the highest since November 2014 before falling about 2.5 percent.

The Swedish grocery chain Coop had to close at least 800 stores on Saturday, while a pharmacy chain and 11 schools in New Zealand were also affected. Linking all of them was Kaseya, which makes systems management software that was in the middle of performing updates to guard against such an attack. Although Kaseya said that fewer than 40 customers had been affected, that group serviced hundreds of others, amplifying the effect.

Some companies were asked for as much as $5 million to regain control of their data, about $70 million in total.

REvil, which was accused of orchestrating an attack on the meat processor JBS in May, was identified as a likely culprit. President Biden confronted President Vladimir Putin of Russia last month over Moscow’s ties to cybercrime, but over the weekend, he said “The initial thinking was it was not the Russian government, but we’re not sure yet.”

But instead of completing a traditional initial public offering process, Nextdoor will be listed on the public markets by way of a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, a type of financial vehicle that has grown increasingly popular in recent years among tech companies.

Nextdoor’s SPAC will be backed by an affiliate of Khosla Ventures, a blue-chip Silicon Valley firm, and will include participation from firms such as T. Rowe Price Associates, Baron Capital Group and Dragoneer Investment Group, along with existing investors that include Tiger Global.

Over the past year, these buzzy financial vehicles have come under increased regulatory scrutiny as private equity firms and investors create record amounts of so-called blank check companies in the hunt to take promising start-ups public. Executives at companies like Reddit have mulled going public via SPAC, while hundreds of new SPACs have been created in the first half of 2021 alone.

Sarah Friar, Nextdoor’s chief executive, said in an interview that going the SPAC route made the most sense for the company, allowing it to be more closely involved and counseled by a smaller, more targeted group of investors. Ms. Friar also said it gave Nextdoor a better sense of certainty about how much money it would raise, rather than the riskiness that could come with a traditional I.P.O. process.

“We’ve been prepping for this now for a couple of years,” Ms. Friar said. “We are ready, and we’ll do this right.”

Founded in 2011, Nextdoor rose to prominence early on as a kind of “Facebook for neighborhoods,” slowly meting out invitations to people who lived in specific areas and could form small, tight-knit social groups based on proximity. Using the site’s web and mobile apps, neighbors discussed everything from yard sales to finding child care to concerns about crime.

Nearly 10 years later, Nextdoor has ballooned to more than 275,000 “neighborhoods” across 11 countries. As the network grew, Nextdoor began making money by selling advertising to businesses, which pay the company to post sponsored content inside users’ feeds. Ads run the gamut from national brand marketers to small and midsize businesses to local service providers.

Nextdoor plans to use the new funding to invest in expanding its products and acquire more users, Ms. Friar said, while also using capital to further develop its self-serve advertising platform aimed at small and midsize businesses. It also plans to hire more engineers and other employees.

Critics of Nextdoor have assailed the platform for being a haven for racism and targeted online harassment. Complaints often involve users who have flocked to Nextdoor to lodge racially motivated grievances about their neighbors or to engage in toxic behavior or harassment.

Since Ms. Friar became chief executive in 2018, she has made it a priority to clean up areas of the platform that have created problems. The company has added anti-racial profiling steps and includes ways to make users slow down and become more thoughtful about certain kinds of posts, like those about suspected crimes. Ms. Friar said the new funding would also pay for products that handle such content moderation issues.

In addition, Ms. Friar, the company’s three original founders and its earliest investor plan to contribute a portion of their shares in Nextdoor to form the Nextdoor Kind Foundation, a nonprofit foundation “dedicated to helping neighbors rejuvenate their neighborhoods through targeted grants.” The foundation will solicit ideas from people who want to improve their communities, whether it is to “plant a garden, paint a community center, or repair the playground,” according to the company.

Shares of Nextdoor will be publicly traded on the Nasdaq stock exchange under the stock ticker symbol “KIND.”

BoltBus, the bus service known for offering its passengers Wi-Fi and $1 lottery seats, is shutting down operations indefinitely after months of low ridership during the pandemic, according to Greyhound, its parent company. The discount bus operator announced last month that it was transferring most of its routes to Greyhound so it could “undergo renovations.” BoltBus had suspended service earlier during the pandemic, but its parent company said this week that the operator had no plans to put its buses back on the road.

Tyson Foods is recalling nearly 8.5 million pounds of frozen chicken that may have been contaminated with listeria, the Agriculture Department said. The voluntary recall was issued after Agriculture Department investigators were notified last month about two people who had been sickened with listeriosis, the department said in a statement on Saturday. An investigation found evidence linking those cases to frozen chicken from Tyson Foods, the agency said. Investigators eventually identified three cases linked to the recalled products, including one death, the department said.

In recent years, Mr. Bezos has stepped back from much of Amazon’s day-to-day business, focusing instead on strategic projects and outside ventures, like his space start-up, Blue Origin, giving his deputies even more autonomy.

Mr. Bezos, 57, re-engaged on day-to-day matters early in the pandemic. But in February, he announced that he planned to step down from running Amazon and would become executive chairman of the company’s board. On July 20, he is scheduled to fly aboard the first manned spaceflight of his rocket company.

Mr. Bezos anointed Mr. Jassy, 53, a long-serving deputy who built and ran the cloud computing division, to take over as chief executive. Mr. Jassy has worked so closely with Mr. Bezos that he has been viewed as a “brain double,” helping conceive and spread many of the company’s mechanisms and internal culture.

Shifts at the top have trickled down, Karen Weise reports for The New York Times. With Mr. Jassy’s ascent, Amazon Web Services needed a new chief executive. It hired Adam Selipsky, who ran Tableau, a data visualization company that Salesforce acquired in 2019. Mr. Selipsky had worked at AWS until 2016, when the cloud business was a less than a third the size it is now.

Amazon is facing a shift that earlier generations of tech companies experienced as they grew and their strong founders stepped aside, said David Yoffie, a professor at Harvard Business School who served on Intel’s board for 29 years. Even before a founder leaves, executives sense a business is approaching a new era, he said.

“People get the idea that Jeff is going to be transitioning, and that leads people to start thinking about other options,” he said, adding that as companies get large, executives can often find less bureaucracy and more financial upside if they leave.

Businesses from factories to fast-food outlets to hotels turned to technology last year to keep operations running amid social distancing requirements and contagion fears. Now the outbreak is ebbing in the United States, but the difficulty in hiring workers — at least at the wages that employers are used to paying — is providing new momentum for automation, Ben Casselman reports for The New York Times.

After having trouble finding workers, a Checkers franchisee put in a system from Valyant AI, a Colorado-based start-up that makes voice recognition systems for restaurants, to take drive-through orders. Now customers are greeted by an automated voice designed to understand their orders — including modifications and special requests — suggest add-ons like fries or a shake, and feed the information directly to the kitchen and the cashier.

Self-checkout lanes at grocery stores have reduced the number of cashiers; many stores have simple robots to patrol aisles for spills and check inventory; and warehouses have become increasingly automated. Kroger in April opened a 375,000-square-foot warehouse with more than 1,000 robots that bag groceries for delivery customers. The company is even experimenting with delivering groceries by drone. Other companies in the industry are doing the same.

With air travel off limits, a manufacturer used augmented-reality technology in its factories to bring in experts to help troubleshoot issues at a remote plant.

Technological investments that were made in response to the crisis may contribute to a post-pandemic productivity boom, allowing for higher wages and faster growth. But some economists say the latest wave of automation could eliminate jobs and erode bargaining power, particularly for the lowest-paid workers, in a lasting way.

Read full article at The New York Times

Gas prices remain high, possible spot shortages loom

NJ Spotlight News 06 July, 2021 - 01:00pm

Gas prices expected to stay high

CBS 17 06 July, 2021 - 01:00pm

Sebastian gas prices could be over $3 per gallon

Sebastian Daily 06 July, 2021 - 10:08am

Sebastian gas prices have been lower than expected this year, but that may change this week as Florida’s average is now $3.01 per gallon for regular. It is the highest daily average price since October 2014.

Florida drivers are now paying 7 cents per gallon on average more than a week ago and 15 cents less than this time last month. The state average is now 90 cents more than this time last year when prices plummeted due to low demand because of the pandemic. 

“Florida drivers continue to feel the effects of rising crude oil prices, which have made it more expensive to produce gasoline,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA – The Auto Club Group. 

“Oil prices have surged nearly 60% this year, as global fuel demand outpaces the recovery in supplies. Unfortunately, these pump prices will likely hang around through the summer, unless fundamentals change. Tropical Storm Elsa is not expected to impact prices at the pump,” Jenkins added.

Since last year, Jenkins also said that many fuel-producing countries reduced crude oil output during the pandemic due to plummeting fuel demand. 

The United States’ production levels dropped a total of 24% from January 2020 to August 2020. Although U.S. production levels have bounced back from mid-2020 lows, they remain 15% below pre-pandemic levels. 

“Reopening rigs can take time due to staffing and other logistics,” Jenkins said.

The most expensive places in Florida to get gas is Panama City ($3.13), West Palm Beach-Boca Raton ($3.12), and Tallahassee ($3.05).

In Sebastian, the cheapest place to buy gas this morning is at Murphy USA near Walmart at $2.91.

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Michigan gas prices hit new high for 2021 — and summer prices could skyrocket even more

Detroit Free Press 06 July, 2021 - 07:49am

To put that price in perspective, motorists are paying $48 for a 15-gallon tank of gas.

In metro Detroit, the average price is higher, $3.28 a gallon.

"After the sharp spike, motorists will likely see prices stabilize through this week," Adrienne Woodland, a AAA spokeswoman said. "Gas prices rose last week as more than 1.4 million Michigan residents were expected to hit the road for the Independence Day holiday."

General Motors said last week it wants to make sure all of its customers and its employees are included in its transition to an all-electric car company, announcing the creation of a $25 million Climate Equity Fund.

Biden, whose father once sold Fords, spoke at the automaker's Rouge complex in Dearborn in May and even got behind the wheel of an F-150 Lightning, later tweeting, "we’re going to win the competition for the 21st century."

But Republicans have taken aim at Biden, blaming him for high gas prices.

"People are paying more at the grocery store, at the gas pump, and when buying everyday goods," Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel tweeted. "Rising prices under Biden are a hidden tax paid by every American!"

Experts, however, have said Biden's policies have little to do with gas prices the short term fluctuation are tied to demand at the pump, the price of oil and and what happens at refineries.

Prices also were down during the height of the pandemic because significantly fewer people were traveling to take road trips and vacations and to go back and forth to the office.

Gas prices are still lower than a record high in 2011 in Michigan of $4.26 a gallon.

The most expansive gas, according to AAA, is in metro Detroit, Ann Arbor, $3.27, and Jackson, $3.19, and the least in Traverse City, $3.06, Benton Harbor, $3.13, and Marquette, $3.13. 

AAA: Florida gas prices average above $3 per gallon

WJXT News4JAX 06 July, 2021 - 07:32am

The state average is now $3.01 per gallon, the most expensive daily average price since October 2014. 

On average, Florida drivers are now paying 7 cents per gallon more than a week ago and 15 cents less than this time last month, according to a AAA release. The state average is now 90 cents more than this time last year, when prices plummeted due to low demand because of the pandemic.

“Florida drivers continue to feel the effects of rising crude oil prices, which have made it more expensive to produce gasoline,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA - The Auto Club Group. “Oil prices have surged nearly 60% this year, as global fuel demand outpaces the recovery in supplies. Unfortunately, these pump prices will likely hang around through the summer, unless fundamentals change. Tropical Storm Elsa is not expected to impact prices at the pump.”

AAA GAS PRICE AVERAGES (Price per gallon of regular unleaded gasoline)

Click here for more information.

Copyright 2021 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.

Carianne Luter is a social media producer for News4Jax and has worked at Channel 4 since December 2015. She graduated from the University of North Florida with a degree in communications.

Florida gasoline averages hit a new high

Orlando Sentinel 06 July, 2021 - 05:47am

Florida’s average price of regular gasoline surged to $3.01 — 4 cents higher than the previous week, which is the most expensive average in the state since 2014.

In Central Florida, Orlando averaged about $2.98, a 2-cent increase from the previous week, and over a 20-cent increase from the previous month.

“Florida drivers continue to feel the effects of rising crude oil prices, which have made it more expensive to produce gasoline,” said Mark Jenkins, a AAA spokesman. “Oil prices have surged nearly 60% this year, as global fuel demand outpaces the recovery in supplies. Unfortunately, these pump prices will likely hang around through the summer, unless fundamentals change. Tropical Storm Elsa is not expected to impact prices at the pump.”

Among the many factors contributing to the squeeze on gasoline prices was the United States dropping its 2020 production levels by 24% during the pandemic, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Price increases were felt all around the state with the cheapest averages found in Fort Myers and Cape Coral at $2.97. The highest averages observed in Panama City, which has an average of $3.13.

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