DES MOINES — As temperatures gradually rise in Iowa during in springtime, so do gasoline prices.
Rose White, spokeswoman for AAA-Iowa, says motorists across the state are shelling out more to fill the tank than they did a month ago. “Iowa motorists are paying an average of $2.56 a gallon, which is three-cents higher compared to the state average reported a year ago,” White says. “During the past month, the average price for a gallon of unleaded fuel in Iowa has increased 28-cents a gallon.”
With winter behind us, Iowans are driving more and that’s driving up demand — and prices at the pump. “We do see crude oil prices climb higher and often that is because many of the refineries are curbing production because they do have seasonal maintenance checks,” White says, “but we also see the higher demand as we start approaching the summer travel months.”
Sometimes it pays to shop around for gas, as the price varies about 15-cents a gallon from one end of the state to the other. “Some of the lowest prices in the state right now can be found in Council Bluffs, where the average is currently $2.52 a gallon,” White says. “Some of the highest prices can be found in Dubuque where the average there is currently $2.67.”
The statewide average of $2.56 a gallon is five cents cheaper than the national average. Triple-A says the nation’s least expensive markets are Utah and Alabama at $2.34, while the highest state average is in California where motorists are paying $3.43 a gallon.