Nebraska and Iowa motorists are paying some of the steepest gas prices in the nation, with Omaha breaking a local record at the pump.
“The averages for Nebraska and Iowa now match California,” said Rose White, a spokeswoman for AAA. “Those states are in the top 10 average price per gallon.”
Gas in California, Nebraska and Iowa on Monday was averaging $4.05 a gallon on Monday. Iowa was trailing a bit at $4.02.
The only states with higher prices were Hawaii at $4.35, followed by Minnesota at $4.27 and North Dakota and Alaska at $4.23 and $4.06 respectively.
In Omaha, motorists woke Sunday to an all-time high of $4.09 per gallon of regular unleaded. That beat the city's record average of $4.08, set in July 2008.
Lincoln motorists were paying even more – an average of $4.12 per gallon of unleaded. But that was 4 cents below that city's peak of $4.16 during the July 2008 flood of a major fuel refinery in Kansas.
The state's highest per-gallon price Monday was in Hastings, where an average gallon of unleaded was selling for $4.16. Other cities across Nebraska and their average price for a gallon of unleaded included: Norfolk and Columbus, $4.10; Kearney, $4.08; North Platte, $4.03; and Grand Island, $4.01.
White said the lengthy closures of two of the nation's largest refineries in Joliet, Ill., and Whiting, Ind., have contributed to tight fuel supplies in the upper Midwest. Both plants closed for routine maintenance but discovered additional problems, White said. Unplanned maintenance shutdowns of smaller refineries in Eldorado, Kan., and Cheyenne, Wyo., are also contributing to the problem, she said.
“We can see by the fuel surveys that there are several states in other regions averaging $3.20 a gallon,” she said. “When the major refineries give us an indication of when they plan to be back up, that should loosen up prices.”
In fact, she said, “we anticipate a significant slide in prices” once the refineries are back online.
“Prices are expected to remain high through the Memorial Day holiday period, but much more favorable for the July 4th holiday.”
For more information on pump prices, visit fuelgaugereport.com. The color coded map shows the price across the U.S.
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