Gasoline prices are steadily climbing in Nebraska and one market analyst says we’ll likely see gas hit $4 a gallon before summer arrives.
Gail Weinholzer, of AAA Nebraska, says pump prices have risen some 35-cents a gallon since the first of the year and she predicts they’ll continue creeping up.
“Oh, we’ll certainly see $4 in the Midwest before Memorial Day,” she says. “The East and West Coasts will go significantly higher than that. In fact, California is already above $4 a gallon, as is Hawaii.”
The average price in Nebraska is now $3.54 a gallon, just four cents below the national average. Weinholzer said there are several factors coming into play in the price increase.
“Crude oil is maintaining itself above $100 a barrel, in fact, the last day or two, it’s been about $105 a barrel,” she says. “Beyond that, we saw the tax credit for ethanol come off the books effective January first. That was 45-cents a gallon for ethanol, especially E-85 fuel.”
She says the winter blend of gasoline will stop being distributed within a few weeks, too, and the summer-grade fuel is usually more expensive by about 15-cents a gallon.