Iowa set two new records recently for fuel consumption and prices. According to the latest figures from the state Department of Natural Resources, corn-based ethanol is very popular at the pumps. Jennifer Moehlmann, the D-N-R’s energy data analyst, says “In February, 72-percent of Iowans chose ethanol at the pump, the highest percentage ever. The previous record was 70-percent, set in January.” Moehlmann says it’s significant since ethanol consumption has only been in the range of 40 or 50-percent for years. Ethanol is usually a few pennies lower than any other blend. Moehlmann says gasoline prices are still rocketing. She says the statewide average, as of April 15th, was two-dollars-18-cents a gallon for regular gasoline — the highest-ever average. The previous record was set in March. Moehlmann says supply and demand dictates prices will drop soon, and then they’ll go up again. She expects prices in Iowa to get back down near two-dollars a gallon prior to Memorial Day but one forecast hints they’ll rise for the summer to around two-28 a gallon. The D-N-R is offering tips for improving fuel efficiency at “www.iowadnr.com”.
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