JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – As the national average for a gallon of gas is getting closer to $5 a gallon -- Florida drivers are feeling the pinch.
The average in Florida on Tuesday was around $4.77. The national average was $4.92.
News4JAX spoke to the business community and is looking at the various factors contributing to the high prices.
Nancy Quinones, the President of Jacksonville’s Puerto Rican and Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, said it’s not easy for business owners right now. Quinones drives from business to business at nearly $5 a gallon helping out chamber members.
“I am at the westside, northside -- sometimes at the southside -- and I’m spending a lot of cash,” Quinones said.
Quinones said she works with members who constantly ask her to drive to them because they can’t afford it the other way around.
“It is a nightmare,” she said. “It’s so expensive.”
When looking into the cause of the high prices, economists told News4JAX that three things are the main contributors: the administration, wealthy oil companies, and others are the war in Ukraine.
Joe Krier, a Financial Analyst for IIWII Trading, told News4JAX that multiple factors come to play. He said as far as President Biden -- the decision to close the Keystone Pipeline has contributed -- but not as much as the war in Ukraine tying up Russian oil exports.
He added that oil companies are making huge amounts of cash right now and not spending a lot.
“Some of them, like Chevron and BP, had initiated renewable energy projects and things like that... the world gets into a crazy situation,” Krier said. “They just hunker down. Gas prices go up. It helps them considerably. Now they’re just stockpiling cash. It doesn’t mean it’s going to be used for evil. I think in the end they’ll end up investing that in renewable energy sources.”
AAA anticipates that gas will keep climbing and expects gas prices to hit $5 soon.