The bad economic news continues to be good news for Iowans at the gas pump. Iowa Department of Natural Resources energy analyst, Tommi Makila, says average gas prices are 42% lower than March of last year, but haven’t changed much in the last month.
He says the gas prices have stayed "fairly steady’ in the last month, with prices going up, but then coming back down with bad economic news. Makila says the oil producing countries have had a hard time of overcoming the economy and getting prices to move up.
Makila says the slower economy means less demand and the price of gas goes down. He says the oil producers have been trying to cut their production to prop up prices, but so far he says the two things have been canceling each other out. The average price for a gallon of ethanol-blended gas in the latest D-N-R survey was $1.80 — 4 cents lower than last month’s survey.
Diesel fuel dropped 21 cents compared to last month to average one-dollar and 95-cents a gallon. Makilla is unsure if warmer temperatures and more driving will lead to higher gas prices.Makila says in general demand for gas goes up in the spring and there’s a switchover from winter fuel production.
But he says if the economy continues to be in a slowdown, there may not be the normal spring uptick in prices. You can see the complete breakdown of the gas price survey on the D-N-R’s energy price website at:www.energy.iowa.gov .