The average price for gasoline in Iowa today tied the all-time record high at $4.02 a gallon. Gail Weinholzer, spokeswoman for Triple-A-Iowa, says for that reason, fewer travelers will be on the road for the upcoming Memorial Day holiday both in Iowa and nationwide, compared to last year.
Weinholzer says, “We expect 34.8-million Americans to journey at least 50 miles or more from home sometime between Thursday and Monday for the Memorial holiday weekend which is about 300,000 fewer people than last year.” Gas prices have bounded in recent weeks with the temporary closure of several refineries.
“No doubt, there’s an impact on gas prices in the upper Midwest,” Weinholzer says. “It is just a regional issue. Most of the rest of the nation is not experiencing it but the average price for fuel today in the United States is $3.66 and in Iowa, it’s $4.02, so obviously, that is a significant increase.”
Iowa’s gas prices have risen more than 60-cents a gallon in the past month. On the plus side, she believes prices have peaked and will now start to gradually drop. “The problem was with refineries that had closed for extended maintenance, a couple in the Chicago area, one in Kansas and one in Oklahoma,” Weinholzer says.
“We do expect those to come back online after Memorial Day. We do expect a slight decline (in prices) to start after Memorial Day but nothing significant until mid to late June.” Today’s statewide average gas price of $4.02 per gallon ties the all-time state record high set in July of 2008.
Technically, Weinholzer says that 2008 record still stands, as the statewide average price reached then was half-a-cent higher ($4.026) than today’s price ($4.021).