Iowa motorists are feeling the impact of Gulf Coast hurricanes at the gas pump. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources’ September 16th survey shows the average price of 10% ethanol blended gasoline at $3.62 a gallon – up 8-cents from the August survey.
D.N.R. Energy Policy Analyst Tommi Makila says, despite the storms, crude oil prices have been dropping. “This is a fairly unusual situation,” Makila said. “Crude oil prices are going down but gas prices are going up.” He expects gas prices to dip back down once refineries are back on-line. Iowa’s $3.62 per gallon average is a around 20-cents cheaper than the national average.
“Most states do have prices higher than Iowa…we are fairly lucky compared to most other states,” Makila said. The average price for a gallon of gas fluctuates by 22-cents in Iowa’s 11 metro markets. Webster City has the lowest price at $3.56 while Dubuque has the most expensive gas at $3.78.
Makila blames the wide range of Iowa pump prices on supply and demand. “And then on the very local level, the difference in the convenience store market place – how competitive it is – that can also have a real impact on the prices,” Makila said. There is a bit of good news in the Iowa D.N.R. report – diesel prices dropped 23-cents from the August survey to a statewide average of $4.00 a gallon.