While still plenty high, the price of a gallon of gas has dropped more than 40-cents during the past month. The statewide average for a gallon of self-serve unleaded is 43.65 — that’s 14-cents below the national aveage.
Rose White, spokeswoman for Triple-A-Iowa, says it’s simply a case of supply and demand. White says, "The lower demand, which is down about two-percent compared to last year, is clearly what’s driving the downturn in crude oil prices."
While gas prices are down, she says Iowans are still paying considerably more than they were a year ago. "Even though there’s been a downturn recently," White says, "they do remain higher last year, up about 70 to 80-cents a gallon higher."
White says it’s hard to predict if prices will continue to drop but there is some good news — as one of the world’s largest oil refineries is scheduled to open soon. "We have some major refineries in the global market coming on-line here within the next couple of months," White says. "One being, of course, in India that is coming on line, expected to next month."
Diesel prices in Iowa are averaging $4.36 a gallon, which is up more than 56% from last year. White says it’s one reason food prices are higher at the grocery store, and they’ll remain high as long as diesel prices are inflated.