FLORIDA, USA — Gas prices are skyrocketing across the country and Tampa Bay residents are no strangers to paying extra at the pump.
Florida's Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried said her office is doing everything to help alleviate the costs.
"What we were able to do is the EPA has changed guidelines by changing the summer blends and going to do something called E15," Fried said.
Earlier this week, Fried issued an emergency rule on gas, which allows for the sale of 15 percent denatured anhydrous ethanol, also known as E15, outside of the traditional fuel season.
Fried said that should save people about 10 cents per gallon. "We’re doing everything we can. It’s all hands on deck," Fried told 10 Tampa Bay.
According to Fried, gas prices have been rising due to Russia's war on Ukraine and continued supply chain issues caused by the global pandemic.
An economist at FGCU, Victor Claar, said this all has to do with inflation.
"Inflation is the main problem and gas prices are just one factor into that," he said.
10 Tampa Bay asked Claar when prices will be normal again. According to Claar, that's a tough question to answer.
"I don’t think anyone knows when prices will begin to moderate," he stated.
As for what will normalize prices again, that's another tough question for economists.
"I don’t know what’s going to bring prices down eventually," Claar said.
He also said people should remain hopeful things will get better and more affordable.
"It’s not yet time to panic. Prices are still relatively manageable. They are higher than they were earlier this year. but not much higher. Just be careful and do what you can do to be wise during this challenging time," Claar explained.
The governor last week signed a $1.2 billion tax relief package which, in part, approved a gas tax holiday in October.
Looking ahead to October, Claar said families have the chance to save on gas with the tax holiday. He believes a family could save about $40 in the month of October.