Gas prices slowly dropping as summer demand eases

DES MOINES — Labor Day is this coming weekend, the unofficial end of summer, and gasoline prices are inching downward as demand drops with less travel, though prices are still high compared to a year ago and even a month ago.

Triple-A-Iowa spokesman Brian Ortner says crude oil prices are gradually falling and that translates to a drop in prices at the pump. “We’ve seen a little dip in that cost over the last few days, which is good,” Ortner says. “On the national level, we’ve dropped four cents on average. Here in Iowa, today we dropped on average a penny overnight, which is great, but if we looked at where we were last week, we’re 10 cents down.”

The motor club says the average price for a gallon of self-serve unleaded is now $3.61 in Iowa, which is 21-cents below the national average.  “If we look at Labor Day last year, which was on September 5th, we were at $3.43 a gallon,” Ortner says. “We’re higher than that right now, but as we’re seeing with the oil prices, hopefully continuing to drop, we may see those numbers continue to drop as well as we hit the holiday weekend.”

Triple-A says the highest gas prices in the state are in both Ames and Dubuque at $3.76 a gallon, while the lowest prices are in Waterloo/Cedar Falls at $3.47.