Iowans who are hitting the road this weekend will notice gas prices are on the rise again. Gail Weinholzer, with AAA Iowa, says the political crisis in Egypt is primarily to blame. “We have seen a gradual increase but I do expect it to plateau in the area of the numbers we’re seeing right now,” Weinholzer says.
On Friday, the average price of regular unleaded gas in Iowa stood at $3.48 a gallon. “Iowa is still below the national average, which is $3.55. So, we have seen slight increases, but certainly nothing as dramatic as we saw prior to Memorial Day,” Weinholzer says. Just before Memorial Day, prices at the pump hovered near $4.00 a gallon as two refineries in the Chicago area were shut down for maintenance.
Weinholzer describes the current gasoline supply in the U.S. as “a little light.” On Wednesday, the government reported the supply dipped by about 9-million barrels compared to the previous week. “That ebbs and flows throughout the summer, depending upon demand, so there’s nothing there to be greatly concerned about,” Weinholzer said. “We expect prices to gradually increase a bit, but nothing significant.”
Iowa’s highest-ever gas prices occurred five years ago this month. According to AAA, the average price for regular unleaded in Iowa spiked at $4.02 a gallon in mid-July of 2008.
by Pat Powers, KQWC & Pat Curtis, Radio Iowa