Florida Lawmakers Hatch a Plan to Cut Costs at the Pump

Over the last week, gas prices in Florida have surged an average of 25-cents a gallon, Making it unaffordable for many to simply get around town. Lawmakers have a controversial plan to cut the price at the pump.

Charles Brann feels like he's feeling the crises overseas here, in his wallet and at the pump.

“Ten dollars nowadays only gets you, like, two gallons of gas, and if you're trying to get to work, you feel like the low-grade person can't even get to work, 'cause all the rich people can still get there,” he said.

…Not that everyone doesn't want a better deal at the pump, including lawmakers. Under a brand-new bill, gas could be sold at below cost, allowing stations to compete in offering rock-bottom prices.

The early estimate: it could knock around 7-cents off every gallon.

Supporters say gas won't be the only thing value-loving drivers will fill up with. They'll also leave armed with bear claws, pork rinds and soda pop, and that could help stations make up for the hit they'd take at the pump.

But there's no guarantee that would happen, and then there are the independent and small chain stations like Melissia Hommel's. She'd lose money if competition drove prices too low.

“I can see it's going to,” she said. “Bigger chains will hurt the smaller ones, the independents, you know, they don't have the luxury of having to pay all that for their gas.”

And with a gallon here at $3.20... make that $3.39 a gallon, customers like Charles aren't even sure below-cost gas would really matter.

“When they go eight or nine cents a gallon, it's going to be like, well, it was four dollars so we'll knock nine cents off, and you still ain't saving nothing.”

...Maybe not anything big, but the promise of even a few pennies on the gallon has become enough to fuel the debate.

The Florida Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association says the legislation would drive many independent stations into bankruptcy and pledge to defeat the bill in the upcoming session.

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  • by joey Location: dothan on Mar 1, 2011 at 07:40 PM
    Apparently GH hasnt watched the news in years and doesnt know that we have enough oil in our own country to not need any middle eastern oil if only the politicians would let us get it. Also our current president is defying court orders that would allow drilling in the gulf and our congress refuses to impeach him for his treasonous actions.
  • by GH Location: E'prise on Mar 1, 2011 at 08:45 AM
    Apparently Judy & Stuart don't watch the news and are ignorant as to whats going on in the Middle East.
  • by Judy Location: Marianna on Mar 1, 2011 at 06:17 AM
    Gas is so high that the average person can't go to work because all his money is eat up in gas. HE can't get food stamps because they say oh,you're making such and such a hour.What's he suppose to do starve? This person has slashed cost where ever he could and he still is drowning in bills and these are the bare essentials.This person has a wife and two kids. She found a part time job at minimum wage, half her money goes to buy gas for her husband to go to work. Stuart is right, GREED is the driving force behind the high gas prices.They know we need it,so it want surprise me if they jack it up to 5 dollars a gallon.
  • by Stuart Location: Enterprise on Mar 1, 2011 at 05:24 AM
    Greed is the driving force behind any business that sells an item people must have and it is rampant in politics, health care, retail and all others that sell.
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