We were told it wouldn’t happen, but gas prices in some parts of Iowa have risen past $3 a gallon. Triple-A’s Rose White says there are several reasons we can expect to see prices continue upward this summer.
White says they’d issued a list of about 30 refineries about six weeks ago that indicated those would have long "down times" to fix problems found during annual inspections. With refineries offline, she says it was clear there’d be some upward pressure on fuel prices.
White says oil is a commodity traded on world markets, and prices will fluctuate. She says we also have to keep in mind that oil is traded on a global basis and the demand for oil continues to grow. A lot of the demand is driven by countries that are becoming more industrialized, especially China. White says if there is a vacation in your future, it’s a good idea to do some research to see how much you will be paying to fill your tank once you reach your destination.
At some regions there will be isolated cases of very high prices, as in California where prices are already fairly high. White says they have "reformulated" fuel standards, something not required of Iowa suppliers. She says based on commodity-market prices, we can expect to see prices about three-ten a gallon.
White says the demand for gas is up about two-percent from one year ago. Gas prices are at or above $3 a gallon this week at Iowa locations including Forest City, Coralville and Hiawatha.