The state agency that monitors gas prices says Iowans are paying a few pennies more per gallon this month. Jessica Zopf, spokesperson for the Iowa Office of Energy Independence, says the average price for a gallon of unleaded fuel mixed with 10%. ethanol stands at $2.37. That’s up from $2.34 one month ago.
“It’s not exactly the best news that fuel prices are up, but it is the first time since about mid-August that we’ve seen this type of an increase,” Zopf said. On average, Council Bluffs has the cheapest gas prices among the 11 biggest cities in the state. Motorists in Council Bluffs are paying about $2.28 per gallon. The highest prices are in Iowa City at $2.44 per gallon. Statewide, gas prices are much lower than October 2008.
“A year ago, about this time, we were about 40-cents higher,” Zopf said. The slight increase in pricing this month is blamed on a decline in fuel supplies. Zopf says energy analysts are split on where prices might head next and many were surprised with this month’s numbers.
“The current supply that we have went down, but because refineries are not exactly operating at full capacity, there would still be that leeway with ramping it back up to full capacity,” Zopf said. “So, they were not anticipating the price to be increasing.” Diesel fuel, on average, $2.61 a gallon in Iowa. That’s down a penny from the September 15 survey.