Summer driving season’s really getting into full swing, but we aren’t seeing the meteoric rise in gas prices that had been predicted. Iowa Petroleum Marketers vice president Ron Marr says there were problems a year ago that sent prices soaring toward two dollars a gallon.A couple of refineries had problems, and with production barely keeping up with consumption, any blip brings the system crashing down. This year, Marr says things are different. He says no refineries have had fires or explosions and supplies of gas have been adequate. Marr knows gasoline prices typically rise sharply around the Memorial Day weekend, signaling the start of summer travel and vacation season. He calls it simple capitalism, the reason hotel rooms at Okoboji cost more in summer than midwinter. Marr says entrepreneurs will raise prices in response to spikes in demand, like holiday weekends. For the rest of the summer, he doesn’t guarantee his crystal ball.Marr says as long as things keep going smoothly and no bullets fly in the Mideast, prices will stay level, but if you hear about refinery fires or any disruption, prices will go up fast. Prices of unleaded with ethanol are down to about a dollar and-a-quarter at many Iowa locations.
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