The price of regular, unleaded gas has climbed to a statewide average of $3.06 a gallon. That’s slightly below the national average of $3.08 according to Triple-A Iowa spokesperson Gail Weinholzer. She expects prices to remain above the three dollar mark for at least the first few months of 2011.
“Then of course, once we get into the summer, it’ll depend how demand and supply looks as well as how the economic, political and environmental activities are going on in the Gulf and various other regions of the world,” Weinholzer said. Two major factors have contributed to the price hike at the pump.
Weinholzer says crude oil is consistently selling above $90 a barrel as investors are betting on an economic recovery both nationally and internationally. Iowa’s gas prices are at their highest level in more than two years. The last time prices in Iowa topped the three-dollar-a-gallon level was in October 2008.
“I think those that are estimating anything higher…are doing so rather speculatively,” Weinholzer said. “But, we don’t see that there’s going to be any significant relief anytime in the near future – not that prices will necessarily increase – but we don’t expect a significant decrease either.”
Average gas prices in Iowa stood at $2.92 a gallon one month ago and $2.69 one year ago. The most Iowans paid for gas, on average, was $4.02 a gallon in July 2008.