Gasoline prices have been steadily rising in Iowa for more than a week, setting new record highs virtually every day. Triple-A-Iowa says the statewide average is now two-49 a gallon, it’s highest ever. The energy bill, which President Bush signed last week, provides billions of dollars in tax breaks and incentives to oil companies that are already seeing record profits. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley has no problem with that. Grassley says “A lot of the money for incentives was in a very needed area of refiners because we don’t have enough refining capacity.” He says it’s a well-balanced bill that’s “not at all tilted in favor of the oil companies.” Grassley says there’s only 17 days between when crude leaves the Saudi oil fields and arrives in our gas tanks. In between there are many factors, like hurricanes and refinery problems, that effect our gas prices. Grassley says many refineries have had problems, mostly mechanical, over the last several days, which has driven up the price of gas several cents a gallon just due to the uncertainty of supply. A U.S. Energy Department official said this week that motorists will just “have to get used to” the high gas prices, which Grassley says is unfortunate, but true.Grassley says once the supply levels are certain, the gas prices should come back down. “I would guess that 50-cents a gallon is hysteria about not knowing what the supply is going to be.” Market analysts project prices will begin to fall once autumn arrives and demand for gasoline drops.
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