Gas prices hit record high in Florida

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Gas prices hit a record high in Florida (and across the US) on Thursday, according to a report from AAA.

The automotive support club reported that gas hit a national average of $4.41 and Florida gas prices hit $4.39. Both of those are record highs. The average in Florida jumped by seven cents a gallon from the day before and 22 cents from just last week. The new high breaks a record set in March by two cents a gallon.

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried announced an emergency measure on Wednesday that will allow stations to sell gas with a higher concentration of ethanol than usual. The new cap on ethanol is 15%, a fuel mixture that is formulated for the winter months.

Fried expects this widening of allowable fuel types to reduce the price by up to 10 cents a gallon. Fried hopes the reduction in fuel costs will be reflected in other increasingly expensive consumer goods.

"We’re seeing increase of cost of agriculture production because of transportation costs, which is seeing the increase because of the gas hike,” said Fried. “So if you’re able to reduce the cost of gas it trickles down impact on consumer products like fuel."

AAA's Mark Jenkins said that the sudden rise is do to a number of factors, including speculation and sanctions on Russian oil.

"Oil prices rose last week after the European Union announced plans to phase out imports of Russian oil by the end of the year. And yet, the oil price gains paled in comparison to what happened with gasoline. Gasoline futures soared to a new record high last week,” Jenkins said. “The increase is attributed to a combination of factors, including steady weekly declines in gasoline supplies and expectations that summer fuel demand will far outpace what we saw last year."

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