Iowans are already seeing gas prices come down this week, and the DNR’s Jennifer Moehlman says, though it goes against logic, world oil prices have been going down since the beginning of tensions, and since the 48-hour deadline President Bush gave Saddam Hussein. Since last week, oil prices have gone down more than eight-dollars a barrel, and she says they’ll stay down and translate to a drop at the gas pump. She says it could take some time for the drop to show up at the pump. If oil prices DO stay where they are, we could see those lower prices within the next 2-3 weeks, depending on how long it takes this oil to get through the system — and the drop could be as much as 20-cents a gallon. We usually see an “uptick” in gasoline consumption and price when summer driving season begins, and Moehlman says it’s likely we’ll see prices spike again, since there’s little extra capacity. We’re walking a tight line between supply and demand, as we have the last couple years. She says with no oil-drilling or refining facilities in Iowa, all we can do is wait at the the end of the pipeline and hope prices come down and stay down. One good thing is, we’re not locked into special reformulated gasoline “blends” that some big cities have insisted on, so Iowa suppliers can choose from many sources of petroleum and aren’t feeling price spikes like they do in Chicago and Milwaukee. Gasoline prices increased four cents from February to an average of a dollar-65 for a gallon of self-serve unleaded gasoline, and the DNR’s latest survey found prices across the state are 36-cents a gallon higher than this time last year.
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