As you start thinking about summer vacation, AAA-Iowa spokesperson Gail Weinholzer says you might not have to budget as much money for traveling by car.
Weinholzer says all signs are pointing for stable or lower gas prices. “The refineries have completely switched over from the winter to the summer grade fuel, gas stations have to do so by May 1st,” Weinholzer says. “And so we have an abundance of crude oil and refined oil available…as a result we expect cost to remain relatively stable, if not decline back toward two dollars by Labor Day.”
The cost of a gallon of gas in Iowa is well below what it was during the last summer driving season. “A year ago the state of Iowa’s average was $3.58 and today it is $2.37. So, it is a $1.20 or so below were you were a year ago on this date. And we expect prices to remain very low, at least until we head into the summer, if not through the summer,” according the Weinholzer.
She says that’s the fuel cost forecast based on what is known right now. “There’s always some exceptions to that should anything significant happen to the oil fields in the Middle East. One we get into the summer season, of course we always have to keep an eye on the Hurricanes in the Gulf,” Weinholzer says. “But aside from those two things — the increased supply and relatively stable demand will keep prices low.”
Weinholzer wouldn’t be surprised if the gas price trend takes a dip. “There’s no reason to expect any significant increases, and in fact, we may see a slight decrease as we approach two dollars a gallon perhaps, as we head into the summer driving season,” Weinholzer says. Iowa gas prices would be even lower, but the Iowa Legislature passed and the governor signed an increase into law that up the gas tax by 10 cents on March 1st.
(Reporting by Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City)