Gas prices in Iowa reach $4 high, remains lower than US average – Des Moines Register

Science & Technology

The price of gas is heating up right along with the summer-like weather.
For the first time this week, the average price of gas soared above $4 a gallon in all 50 states. In Iowa, the average price of gas has hovered above $4 a gallon since early May. According to data tracked by AAA, Georgia, Kansas and Oklahoma were the last straggling states to cross the average $4 a gallon threshold. 
On Thursday, the average price for a regular gallon of gas in Iowa was $4.163 — an increase of nearly 33 cents from last month and $1.256 from last year — while the nation’s average hit $4.589 a gallon, according to AAA.
Before this month, Iowa’s record average for a gallon of regular gas was $4.026 a gallon in July 2008, around $5.40 a gallon today adjusted for inflation.
More:More Iowa gas stations will have to sell E15
Around the Des Moines metro on Thursday, most gas stations were offering a gallon of regular gas for around $4.19, according to GasBuddy.com. A Kwik Star station at 51525 NE 14th St. in Des Moines appeared to offer some of the cheapest gas at $4.04 a gallon.
“The high cost of oil, the key ingredient in gasoline, is driving these high pump prices for consumers,” Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson said in a statement Monday. “Even the annual seasonal demand dip for gasoline during the lull between spring break and Memorial Day, which would normally help lower prices, is having no effect this year.”
It’s going to be more expensive to travel via automobiles than last summer.
Experts told USA Today that gas prices will only continue rising into the summer months and the national average could even surpass $5 for a gallon of regular gas.
But in general, Jessica O’Riley, a spokesperson for Travel Iowa, said, people still prioritize travel plans as the weather improves. 
“Trends indicate that people will still travel, in spite of higher gas prices, but may take fewer trips or stay closer to home,” O’Riley said in an email to the Des Moines Register.
Amy Zeigler, tourism manager for the Iowa Tourism Office, said in a statement that Arrivalist’s Daily Travel Index indicated “road trips are up in Iowa nearly 15% comparing 2022 to 2019.”
It depends. 
E15 — a marginally less expensive fuel with up to 15% ethanol blended into gasoline — is currently available at only around 17% of gas stations in Iowa. But, the state will require all gas stations to sell E15 starting in 2026 so any new stations built or upgraded must be compatible with E15.
Learn more here:A new Iowa law will require more gas stations to carry E15. Can I use it? Will it save me money?
While nearly all gasoline sold in the U.S. is blended with 10% ethanol, E15 can offer around 10 to 30 cent savings at the pump, according to the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association. But, the fuel offers slightly less energy and may not carry a driver as far, according to the U.S. Department of Energy
Fuel savings are also dependent on the vehicle and an individual’s driving habits.
Hannah Rodriguez covers retail for the Register. Reach her at herodriguez@registermedia.com or on Twitter @byherodriguez.

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