Agriculture Commissioner Charles Bronson on Friday morning called on President Bush and Congress to "launch a full and thorough" investigation into skyrocketing fuel prices which Bronson said are threatening the economy of both the state of Florida and the United States.
Bronson, who called himself a student of history, said the conditions that exist now remind him of 1929 right before the economic collapse and that he was worried that speculators are driving up the cost of oil. He wondered why the cost of diesel fuel was so much higher than gasoline since it cost lest to manufacture. And Bronson said maybe it was time for state leaders to reconsider their opposition to the drilling off Florida's coast.
Bronson also took shots at those who believe continued production of ethanol is to blame for higher food prices, saying that the use of small portion of corn being grown is being used for ethanol.
Regarding issues the state can control, Bronson said that "maybe" it was time to repeal the state law that prohibits companies from selling gasoline at below the cost of procuring it. But Bronson was less enthusiastic about changing law so that he can investigate price gouging complaints year round. Currently, Bronson only has that power when there is a declared emergency in the state.