How much do you buy excuses for gas price spike?

7:20 PM, Aug 13, 2012   |    comments
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Tampa, Florida -- Gas prices in the Tampa Bay area have jumped nearly 35 cents in the past month alone, leaving drivers asking why?

There haven't been any major hurricanes or new, major conflicts in the Middle East, so what's to blame?

10 News asked two analysts and each say there are several reasons.

"What isn't to blame?" said Jessica Brady with AAA. "Everything from the refinery fire in California to the pipeline leak in Wisconsin, Tropical Storm Ernesto, Iran, you name it."

That adds up to a shortage in the supply and a lot of speculation.

"There's no mystery man behind the curtain who is actually setting retail gasoline prices.  What we see is a variety of factors," said Gregg Laskoski from

But ask the average driver and they refer to those "factors" as "excuses".

"I just laugh them off.  It's a joke," said Ivo Medina as he tried to fill up in Tampa.

Experts say if you study gas price trends, there's actually some good news.

Prices started this year in Tampa at $3.16 per gallon.

When they peaked in April at $3.95, many analysts predicted prices would go way over $4 sometime this summer.

Even though prices sit at $3.58 currently, it appears they won't get that high.

"It could have been quite a bit worse," Laskoski said.

Experts expect prices to continue rising through Labor Day, possibly even into early October.

However they don't see them exceeding $4 unless something unexpected happens.

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