One expert says Iowa drivers should again brace for seeing gasoline selling at three-dollars a gallon. Tami Foster, a fuel data analyst for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, says gas is already over four-bucks a gallon in New York and L-A and the trends indicate gas prices could continue to rise in Iowa over the coming weeks.
Foster says prices could hit three-dollars a gallon this summer, especially as we approach the summer driving season, though it may just be short-term peaks that high, not sustained for longer than a month. The current statewide average for self-service unleaded is two-78 a gallon, up four-cents a gallon in the past day.
Foster says the markets are in flux due to uncertainty about several developing international situations, particularly in the Persian Gulf. She says “The price of crude oil and gasoline right now is based on the fear of something happening, such as something happening in Iran because of their nuclear program, so that’s keeping prices high but it’s keeping the market jittery.”
Foster says if no hostilities occur, prices may gradually come down but if there is activity, “we can expect prices to certainly shoot up.” In addition, she says last fall’s hurricanes are still having an impact on the petroleum industry.
Refineries are doing their routine spring maintenance but many put off their fall repairs until spring due to the hurricanes, so more refineries are offline than usual right now, meaning supplies of gas are down, driving up the prices. Gas has been over three-dollars a gallon in Iowa before, peaking at three-oh-eight in September of 2005.