Iowans can expect another rise in gasoline prices this month, according to Triple-A-Iowa. Motor club spokeswoman Rose White says it happens this time of year every year. White says the prices will climb as demand rises and as refineries temporarily shut down for annual safety checks, cutting supplies, with prices expected to go still higher in a few months as the summer driving season arrives. Gasoline prices in Iowa are averaging two-23 a gallon, the same as a month ago. A year ago, the statewide average was a dollar-88.
White says corn-based ethanol is catching on in many other parts of the U.S. and it’s helping to keep the price of unleaded gas down. She says ethanol is in such high demand at some refineries and at gas stations on the East Coast, the price for ethanol is much higher, shrinking the difference between unleaded and ethanol. White says ethanol’s even selling at some stations ten-cents a gallon higher than regular unleaded.
White says the continued unrest in the Middle East is only one of several international situations that are keeping gas prices high. She also points to abductions at overseas refineries and the troubles with the president of Venezuela who threatens to boycott the U.S. by not sending oil shipments.