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Unadvertised Florida Gas Station Prices Top California's Five Bucks a Gallon

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by hearit

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In The News

As the nation battles record-setting gas prices, one Florida gas station uses unadvertised prices to lure unknowing customers with rental cars -- charging two dollars more per gallon of gas than a station only one-half of a mile away.
While the average cost of gas has jumped to more than $3.5 per gallon, California remains the most expensive state for gas prices while Montana remains the cheapest -- still the highest nationwide gas prices ever posted in the month of March. Gas costs more depending on location, with some station locations in California known to be charging more than five dollars per gallon -- expected to pass six bucks a gallon in the state during summer months.
Still, Florida customers were shocked to be informed by ABC News onsite, that a Suncoast-branded gas station is surpassing even the outrageous California pump rates -- using unadvertised pricing located only at the pumps themselves, not streetside where stations usually advertise their rates.
What makes the Florida gas station unique is that its prices are significantly different than surrounding gas stations -- located less than a mile away -- and the nation's highest gas rates per gallon are now found at a Suncoast Energy gas station located in Orlando, Florida. There, gas prices have not only passed the $5 mark but even passed California's highest pricing: Suncoast in Florida is charging $5.39 per gallon for regular gas.
The specific Suncoast Energy station happens to fall among the last available for fillups and travelers en route to the Orlando airport -- as ABC notes, location makes it a prime spot for customers in a pinch for rental car returns and airline departures.
As reporters literally interviewed the Suncoast station's customers at the pump, as to whether customers were aware of the high prices, customer after customer proceeded to leave the station without purchase. When asked about knowledge of the gas prices, one man even ademately insisted, "It's lower than California, I know that." That statement made the unaware customer very, very wrong.
A gas station is allowed to charge any price per gallon it chooses, without a cap. Most stations list prices streetside, via large signs. While the Suncoast Energy station isn't guilty of a crime, since "price gouging" only applies during a state of emergency, the Orlando mayor's not too happy -- telling ABC that he doesn't approve of the price: "We don't think people should be tricked into paying $2 a gallon more for gas than they could a half mile down the road," Mayor Buddy Dyer told the ABC outlet.
With the Libya crisis, and its effects in America topping two weeks, there's talk of a disruption in supply of gas to the nation. Meanwhile, President Obama's been criticized for not releasing any reserve barrels. Some industry experts claim that even a minimal release of reserve barrels to the public could mean significant price changes for the consumer at the pump -- or at least that opening America's petroleum reserve, even slightly, could pose a direct battle to the ever-increasing rate hikes and at least aid the average customer.
Gas prices have jumped at least 72 cents per gallon in a month, breaking all previous records.

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