The average price for a gallon of gas in Iowa — the 10 percent ethanol blend — is hovering ever-closer to the $4 mark. An Iowa Department of Natural Resources check of gas stations around the state found the average price was $3.93 per gallon on July 15th.

Tommi Makila, an energy policy analyst for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, says pump prices today in Iowa are about 27 percent higher than this time last year. "Prices were fairly high last year already, but definitely the prices…just haven’t been coming down," Makila says.

Diesel fuel prices remain high as well, with the average price for diesel in Iowa hiting $4.69 a gallon. That is 59 percent higher than the diesel fuel prices at Iowa stations in July of 2007. "In the past a lot of times gasoline and diesel prices are very close to each other, but now there has been more of a worldwide supply issue with diesel…so diesel prices have gone up even more than gasoline," Makila says.

Pump prices were highest in Davenport and cheapest in Council Bluffs. The average price for a gallon of 10 percent ethanol blend was $4.02 in Davenport on July 15, while in Council Bluffs it was selling for $3.86.

"Western Iowa is in a different market and the eastern Iowa is definitely influenced by the high price and high demand Chicago market and so there are these regional differences," Mikila says.

The DNR checks pump prices in about a dozen Iowa metros; the latest survey was conducted July 15. Gas was selling for $3.98 in Iowa City and $3.95 in Des Moines, on average. Webster City stations were selling it for $3.94. Gas was bringing an average of $3.93 a gallon in Ames and Cedar Rapids in mid-July. In Dubuque it was $3.92. In Fort Dodge it was $3.91. In Sioux City it was $3.90 and in Waterloo it was $3.89.