Gasoline prices are steadily climbing in Iowa and one market analyst says we’ll likely see gas hit four-bucks a gallon by summer. Gail Weinholzer, with Triple-A Iowa, says pump prices have risen some 35-cents a gallon since January first.
“We’ve seen a 20-cent increase just in the last month,” Weinholzer says. “The current average in Iowa is $3.50, which is up from $3.15 right after the first of the year. We’ve seen a substantial increase, but not as much as other states. Iowa is still below the national average, which is $3.58.”
Weinholzer is still predicting gas will reach the landmark of four-dollars a gallon sometime this spring. “Oh, we’ll certainly see $4 in the Midwest before Memorial Day,” she says. “The East and West Coasts will go significantly higher than that. In fact, California is already above $4 a gallon, as is Hawaii.”
Weinholzer said there are several factors coming into play in the price increase. “Crude oil is maintaining itself above $100 a barrel, in fact, the last day or two, it’s been about $105 a barrel,” she says. “Beyond that, we saw the tax credit for ethanol come off the books effective January first. That was 45-cents a gallon for ethanol, especially E-85 fuel.”
She says the winter blend of gasoline will stop being distributed within a few weeks, too, and the summer-grade fuel is usually more expensive by about 15-cents a gallon.
By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City