Echoes from the rocketfire in Israel and Lebanon are being heard in Iowa — at least in terms of the roller-coaster ride gasoline prices have been on lately. Tami Foster, an energy data analyst at the Iowa D-N-R, says motorists are seeing prices go up and down almost daily, sometimes by a dime a gallon.
Foster says a lot of the volatility in the market is based on the price of crude oil which hit a record high of 78-dollars a barrel last week, which is bringing more fluctuations in the price of gasoline. She says escalating hostilities in the Middle East are also making prices at the pumps rise, fall and rise again.
Foster says the conflict between Israel and Lebanon is forcing the market to take a wait-and-see approach to see if there is a peaceful resolution. Until that happens, she says we can expect continued volatility with prices going up and down. How much higher will gas prices go or will they drop? Those are questions Foster says no one can really answer.
Foster says it all depends on whether the conflict is resolved and whether other nations like Iran get involved. She says 30-percent of the U.S. crude oil comes from the Middle East so it has a huge impact on price fluctuations.
The statewide average for a gallon of self-service regular unleaded is two-88. That’s 11-cents cheaper than the national average. A month ago, Iowa’s average was two-72 a gallon. A year ago, it was two-20.