I went to the men's basketball Missouri Valley Conference Tournament this weekend in St. Louis, Missouri. En route to the Enterprise Center, I realized that, believe it or not, gas prices south of the Iowa border are not much better than what we've got going on in the Hawkeye State. They're pretty much the same, at least from what I saw.

The cheapest gas I was able to get was $3.35 per gallon. The most expensive (from what I recall) was $3.99, and I heard another media member at the tournament say he saw gas in St. Louis for over $4 a gallon. The last time I remember folks universally complaining to this degree about gas prices was during the 2007-09 recession -- I was between 11 and 13 years old.

In fact, I sent a Snapchat to several of my friends about the prices, including one of my longtime pals who lives in the Los Angeles area of California. She told me gas prices are at $6 per gallon there. OOF. My stomach began to hurt even thinking about that.

That got me thinking -- how does Iowa compare to the rest of the nation in its average price of gas?

Whether it's due to ethanol production, proximity to resources, or any of a multitude of other factors, I'm unsure. Either way, Iowa ranks 45th nationally in average gas price today, according to AAA Gas Prices, at $3.719 a gallon. Texas is 44th at $3.726 and South Dakota is 46th with an average price of $3.701 per gallon.

Today, March 7, the national mean is $4.065. The highest average comes from California at $5.343 per gallon while Missouri has the lowest with $3.627.

The national record for average gas price is $4.11, which was set on July 17, 2008.

According to Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at fuel-savings app GasBuddy, we could be approaching those numbers this week:

A statement came from the company that said "Seasonal factors including increased demand for gas, refinery maintenance and the switch to summer blend gas, on top of current geopolitical tensions, could propel prices upward of $4.25 per gallon by Memorial Day."

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