Damaging hurricanes that hit the Gulf Coast in recent weeks are long gone, yet gasoline prices in Nebraska remain high and are still rising in some areas. Energy policy analyst Tommi Makila says crude oil prices are dropping and the regular laws of supply-and-demand economics don’t seem to apply any more.
“This is a fairly unusual situation,” Makila says. “Crude oil prices are going down but gasoline prices are going up.” He expects gas prices to dip back down once all Gulf Coast refineries are back online. Triple-A-Nebraska says the average price of ethanol-blended gas at pumps statewide is $3.72 a gallon. That’s 11-cents a gallon cheaper than the national average.
“Most states do have higher prices… We are fairly lucky compared to many other states,” Makila said. The average price for a gallon of gas fluctuates by 18-cents in Nebraska’s major markets. Grand Island has the lowest price at $3.69 while North Platte has the most expensive gas at $3.87. Makila blames the wide range of Nebraska pump prices on supply and demand. “On the very local level, the difference in the convenience store market place – how competitive it is – that can also have a real impact on the prices,” Makila said.
There is a bit of good news — diesel prices dropped 27-cents a gallon in the past month in Nebraska, now averaging three-99, down from four-26 on this date in August.