After a nice drop during the holidays, gasoline prices in Iowa are creeping back up and are now averaging a $1.81 statewide. That’s an increase of 15-cents a gallon in the past month. Triple-A-Iowa’s Rose White says gas is still cheap compared to last July when prices topped out in Iowa at a record $4.02 a gallon.

White says supplies are high which is causing crude oil prices to drop. White says, "Crude oil inventories have risen about 6.7 million barrels during the last week alone and currently they’re up about 42-million barrels compared to last year." She expects gas prices in Iowa to peak while still below $2.00 a gallon. White doesn’t see demand or supply changing much anytime soon.

"The hurricane season is behind us, the increase in demand because of the summer travel season won’t be around for another few months and so, hopefully over the next couple of months, we should see some very favorable prices for motorists," she says. While it’s a pleasant change for motorists to see cheap pump prices, White says the government is also taking advantage of the low price of gas right now.

She says, "Because of the lower crude oil prices, the U.S. government did announce that it plans to continue to build its efforts to top off the strategic petroleum reserves." White says the recession is limiting personal gasoline use and that trend is likely to continue. Triple-A says the current average fuel price in Iowa of $1.81 a gallon is three cents higher than the national average.