Experts say gas prices are at their peak

Prices expect to go down sometime this month

Gas prices through the summer travel season

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - If you have a road trip planned this summer, you may not have to budget as much for gas.

TripleA reports the national average for the price of gas is likely peaking right now, and will drop this summer.

Right now, gas is $3.39 in Columbia and $3.47 in Jefferson City. It is slightly cheaper at the Lake of the Ozarks at $3.35.

Experts say the prices are high right now because refineries are changing from winter to summer grade fuel.

They say this transition makes the prices go up, but because of supply and demand they are expecting it to level off soon.

Ronald Leone of the Missouri Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Stores Association says summer grade fuel becomes necessary this time of the year and causes the price spike.

"In the summer, the formula of fuel has less evaporation when it's warm so that when you're filling up your car, or when we're filling up the big tanks at your local gas station and convenience stores, there's less evaporation causing pollution," said Leone.

And Leone says it's not just the change in fuel that is causing the high prices. He says people are now driving more, increasing the demand.

"They typically start rising in the spring like we're seeing now. People are driving more from the winter storm months," said Leone.

Some Jefferson City residents say they are only driving when necessary while the prices are this high.

"It costs too much to money to get places that you need to be. Like, if you have to go to the doctor or things like that," said Willie Richardson.

Experts say while the industry is difficult to predict, it should be downhill from here.

"I think we're cautiously optimistic that the TripleA predictions are going to pan out, but a lot of things could happen between now and then that could drastically impact the supply or distribution of fuel and therefore impact the price," said Richardson. 

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