Local gas prices impacted by turmoil in Iraq

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) -- The cost of a gallon of gas often goes down this time of year.

But it's already six cents higher than a year ago, largely because energy traders are worried about the potential loss of oil exports from Iraq.

Gas prices typically peak in spring and drop in June.

"Right now we're seeing an opposite trend," said Charley Jones, president of Stinker Stations. "They're rising currently at the wholesale level. My prediction, my crystal ball tells that prices will probably keep rising for the short term. But will it hit some outrageous number? Is it going to be $5 a gallon? No."

"Again, Iraq may be the wild card in this thing that may cause the usual pattern to vary," said Jim Manion, with AAA of Idaho.

The cost of crude accounts for sixty-five percent of the price of gas at the pump.

Just four percent of U.S. oil imports come from Iraq but the six-cent increase in the cost of a gallon of gas has taken $163 million a week out of the pockets of American consumers.

That's money that could help move our economy forward.

Meantime, heavy fighting continues around one of Iraq's most strategic oil refineries.

Some good news is that the semi-autonomous Kurdish region of Iraq is trying to step up exports.