While last week’s State of the Union address contained new challenges for Iowa farmers, one analyst says the President’s speech also caused a spike in gasoline prices. Rose White, spokeswoman for Triple-A-Iowa, says gas prices started going up the day after Bush’s address and in some areas, have continued to climb.
White says "The market just overreacted to the situation with a big jump in crude oil prices for the future trading. Unfortunately for motorists, however, the spike has resulted in retail pump prices increases as well." Bush called for a near-seven-fold increase in ethanol production by 2017. He also made comments about the nation’s oil reserves, which White says made Wall Street traders nervous.
She says "The announcement calls for a doubling of the U.S. strategic petroleum reserves beginning this spring at a rate of approximately 100,000 barrels per day." Members of the OPEC nations will meet early next month and are expected to discuss cutting oil production in an effort to increase crude oil prices. White says Bush’s comments are having a far-reaching impact.
She says pump prices have jumped up to 15-cents a gallon in less than a week. In Iowa, the statewide average for gasoline is $2.02 a gallon. That’s down from two-25 a month ago. The current nationwide average is two-14.