State officials differ in response to high gas, groceries costs

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — People in Central Florida are eager for prices to drop at local gas stations and grocery stores.

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On Thursday, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and gubernatorial candidate Nikki Fried called on Gov. Ron DeSantis to declare an emergency over the high prices.

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The governor’s office said that move would hurt drivers further.

The average cost of a gallon of gas in Florida remains at $4.50, an all-time high.

It’s even higher locally, in Flagler and Marion counties, at $4.51.

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In addition to Fried’s calling, President Joe Biden’s administration ordered the release of oil from the reserves earlier this year. DeSantis passed a tax relief package for a quarter off a gallon of gas in October.

However, University of Central Florida economist Sean Snaith said none of these are an answer that will stick.

“A lot of what we’ve seen is cosmetic, and it isn’t the solution to the problem,” he said. “The solution is a greater supply of oil and gasoline for prices to come down.”

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Snaith added that could happen best through domestic oil production. And to pick ourselves back up for a better overall economy, Snaith said he believes things need to come crashing down.

The House just passed Rep. Val Demings’ Consumer Fuel Price Gouging Prevention Act.

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Adam Poulisse, WFTV.com

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.