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Iowa Fares Better on the Pump Than Other States, But Summer Travel is Coming

AAA’s national average for a gallon of regular gasoline ended the month of April at $4.17, trending higher than the previous week’s price of $4.12. AAA officials say pump prices will likely face upward pressure as oil prices hover above $100 per barrel. While supply remains tight and the market highly volatile, crude prices will likely continue to fluctuate, pushing gas prices higher.

Compared to the previous week, 10 states that saw the largest increases in their average per gallon gas prices were Delaware (+22 cents), Maryland (+16 cents), Ohio (+12 cents), Indiana (+10 cents), Michigan (+7 cents), Florida (+6 cents), New Jersey (+6 cents), Connecticut (+6 cents), Vermont (+5 cents) and Pennsylvania (+4 cents).

Iowa and some Midwest and southern states, like Arkansas, have fared better than others and are seeing prices at the pump much lower than the national average. On April 30, AAA pegged the average price of gas in Iowa at $3.89 a gallon, up from $3.86 a week before, and the same price as the previous month. The highest average state price was $4.02 a gallon recorded on July 16, 2008.

In a recent article on radioiowa.com, Meredith Mitts, spokeswoman for AAA-Iowa, said prices at the pump appear to have stabilized in the state. “Gas prices have kind of leveled out,” Mitts said. “Prices today are almost exactly the same as the statewide average from a month ago. They’re up a little bit from a week ago but we’re staying in roughly the same 10-cent range.” 

With summer travel just a few weeks away, Mitt expects prices to rise around the Memorial Day, the Fourth of July and Labor Day weekends. All will depend on the number of families traveling, the supply of strategic oil reserves, the Russia-Ukraine conflict, and global economy.

Here are some practices AAA suggests that will help improve fuel economy:

  • Minimize your use of air conditioning. Open car windows have less effect on fuel economy than the engine power required to operate the air conditioning compressor.
  • Plan ahead to accomplish multiple errands in one trip. Whenever possible travel outside high-traffic times of the day.
  • Remove unnecessary and bulky items from your car. It takes more fuel to accelerate a heavier car.
  • Minimize your use of roof racks and remove special carriers when not in use. On the highway, a loaded rack or car-top container will have a major effect on gas mileage.

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