The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

September 25, 2013

Gas at $3 per gallon? Maybe

OTTUMWA — Gas prices are giving consumers some welcome relief, according to a new report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, and more could be on the way.

Prices have fallen an average of five cents nationally over the past week, and they're down almost 36 cents compared to a year ago. Prices in the Midwest have run slightly higher than the national average for much of the summer, but the current regional average is below the current U.S. figure.

Iowa is doing even better. The statewide average on gasbuddy.com, a site that monitors gas prices using public input, put Iowa's average price at $3.41 per gallon. That's five cents below the national average.

Prices for Ottumwa Wednesday stood at $3.19 per gallon, with similar prices reported for most area communities.

What's happening? Why are prices falling now after being so high for so long?

Patrick DeHaan, a senior petroleum analyst for gasbuddy.com, says basic economics explains much of the shift.

“By and large, there are two main reasons for gas prices to decline in the fall. One is supply and demand,” he said.

Gasoline supplies are high right now, and people are driving less with the arrival of school and the fall season's tendency to curtail outdoor activities. That helps.

There's another seasonal factor at work as well. The Environmental Protection Agency requires cleaner burning gasoline during the summer months. Getting gas to burn more cleanly costs more, so the base price is higher. That requirement runs during the summer months (June 1 to Sept. 15).

The calendar alone doesn't explain the rapid fall, though. DeHaan said the worry over U.S. involvement in Syria has eased and there have been signals of a “possible breakthrough with Iran.” In the latter case, easing of relations could bring relaxation of sanctions and open the way for more Iranian crude to make it to the markets.

Text Only
Local News
  • 0731 OTT Aviation plane -T -M Flying free OTTUMWA — The financial obstacle may have been removed if your career goal starts with learning to fly. "We have it set up for three terms, about nine months," said pilot and chief flight instructor Darren Graham at Indian Hills Community College. "

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Supervisors discuss pipeline potential KEOSAUQUA — Van Buren County Supervisors received preliminary, general information on a new pipeline being proposed to carry oil from North Dakota through Iowa, including Van Buren County, then crossing into Illinois. The proposed Bakken Pipeline wou

    July 30, 2014

  • Fairfield stabbing suspects' trials separated FAIRFIELD — The three people accused of dragging a man into a Fairfield apartment before robbing and stabbing him have had a judge grant their requests to separate their trials. Dawn Dunn, Dustin Roll and Brett Hedblade are each charged with willful

    July 30, 2014

  • Local business donates grain rescue tube KEOSAUQUA — Stockport Elevator, owned by Roquette America, donated a grain rescue tube to Birmingham and Stockport Fire Departments. A training session was conducted Monday, led by Dale Ekdahl, a representative of Outstate Data, LLC, the device’s man

    July 30, 2014

  • Where do my taxes go? OTTUMWA — Wapello County Board certified its tax levy. But what does that mean? Based on budgets submitted by various levying authors, the Wapello County Auditor prepares and certifies the levy rates for the county. Budgets for each levy are based on

    July 30, 2014

  • OCSD releases elementary supplies list

    OTTUMWA — For years, parents of the students in Ottumwa's elementary schools have had to check to make sure the school supplies list they grabbed was the right one for their school. No more.

    July 30, 2014

  • Reducing runoff at the local level AGENCY — Pollution isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you look out at a field of Iowa corn or soybeans, but there’s growing concern about what manages to get out of the fields and into the water. The same nutrients that benefit the crops c

    July 30, 2014

  • Supervisors wrestle with staffing woes KEOSAUQUA — Van Buren County Supervisor Chairman Bob Waugh says he wants county supervisors to help alleviate staffing problems within the county treasurer’s office. In May, supervisors opted not to replace a vacancy within the treasurer’s office. Va

    July 30, 2014

  • 0730 OTT Better Buildings -T -M Wildwood could be your home OTTUMWA — There was always one child per class who just adored school. If they went to Wildwood, they may soon be able to move in permanently. The Ottumwa board of education met Monday, where staff told them where the district stood as far as "facili

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • A changing roster -- for school board OTTUMWA — If the last time you saw your board of education was before Christmastime, the current school board might surprise you. Two members retired from the board: longtime educator Ron Oswalt stepped down, as did board president Carol Mitchell. Bo

    July 29, 2014

Photo reprints


Obituaries

Facebook