A new report predicts gasoline prices will remain relatively low in Iowa and nationwide during the upcoming summer driving season, which actually runs April through September. Rose White, spokeswoman for Triple-A-Iowa, says the low prices are partly due to a drop in the worldwide gas demand.

“The global demand for oil may fall to its lowest level in five years due almost entirely to the global recession,” White says. “The I-E-A which forecast a drop in the global demand of oil to almost two-point-four-million barrels per day. A drop in this magnitude would mark a nearly three-percent fall in the global demand for oil compared to last year.”

The projected national average is $2.23 for a gallon of regular-unleaded gasoline. White says the price for a gallon of gas in Iowa is almost always cheaper than the national average. “Here in the Midwest, we often see lower prices since many of the states across the country have to sell reformulated fuel blends which do cost more,” White says.

“Here in the Midwest, we are not required (to do so) since we do not have any air quality problems. Usually during the summer months, our prices can be ten to 15-cents lower than the national averages.” White says there are several reasons why the projected price is so low.

“U-S motorists just continue to drive less and that of course is due to the economy and that, combined with weaker consumer spending and significant oil and gasoline stockpiles, are all contributing to the lower prices we’re seeing now at the pump.”

The price for a gallon of gas in Iowa is nearly half of what it was a year ago. The statewide average is now $2.01 a gallon. In July of 2008, prices in Iowa hit the record high of $4.02.