Gail Weinholzer, spokeswoman for AAA-Iowa, says the national average has dropped for 19 days in row and the statewide average is now $2.68 a gallon. She says there’s a lot of buzz about whether gas prices will keep falling and dip below two-bucks a gallon.
Weinholzer says, “I would not expect that we would approach $2 a gallon anytime prior to Halloween, perhaps as late as Thanksgiving.” July and August are usually high travel months as so many people are taking road trips, so gas prices typically rise during the summer due to increased demand. This year, however, that’s not the case.
Indications are, prices will continue falling for the next several weeks, perhaps the next several months. “We have to go through the switchover from the summer to the winter driving season, and that will push prices down about a quarter per gallon,” Weinholzer says. “I wouldn’t expect anything close to $2 until late fall or the early start of the winter.”
Oil prices fell sharply in July based on what’s called “oversupply,” domestic oil supplies are about 25 percent higher than a year ago, while domestic oil production is up 12 percent. Gas prices will likely continue slipping as long as two things remain constant.
“One is any sort of heavy activity in the hurricane region down on the Gulf Coast,” Weinholzer says. “We saw with Katrina in 2008 what devastation that can be. We also have to keep an eye on the Middle East and make sure none of the unrest spreads to any of the significant oil fields.”
The AAA survey finds Iowa’s most expensive gas is being sold in Des Moines, averaging $2.76 a gallon, while the state’s cheapest gas can be found in Davenport, averaging $2.56.
Iowa’s highest-ever gas prices were recorded in July of 2008 when the statewide average reached $4.02 a gallon.