Gas prices have been steadily rising in Iowa and across the country for nearly a year. Gail Weinholzer, with Triple-A Iowa, says the average price of regular unleaded across the state has hit $3.78 a gallon.
“A month ago, prices were at $3.47 a gallon and a year ago, it was about $2.80,” Weinholzer said. “So we’ve had a pretty steady incline…for the past nine months.” The national average stands at $3.84 a gallon for regular unleaded. Rising gas prices have mainly been the result of the increasing cost of crude oil, now around $110 a barrel.
A half dozen states are now averaging above $4 a gallon for gas. Weinholzer doubts we’ll see that here. “It would certainly be a possibility in Iowa for that to occur, although I would not contend that would be a probability,” Weinholzer said. The last time Iowa has $4 a gallon gas was in July 2008. Gas prices will likely go up before motorists see any relief at the pump.
“We certainly anticipate an increase around Memorial Day, as we head into the summer travel season, although to what extent…it’s kind of hard to determine,” Weinholzer said. “If prices increase too much, demand will slack and it’ll have a depressing impact on fuel prices. So, it’s kind of hard to predict at this point, but we certainly don’t expect any relief in the near future.”