Iowa State University
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News Service

News Service:

Annette Hacker, director,
(515) 294-3720

Office: (515) 294-4777

06-04-07

Contact:

Mike Ferlazzo, News Service, (515) 294-8986, ferlazzo@iastate.edu

Iowa State experts primed to discuss effects of high gasoline prices

AMES, Iowa -- As gasoline prices continue to top $3 per gallon in most parts of the country, Iowa State University faculty and staff experts are available to provide comment on the societal and economic ramifications of such high prices, as well as some alternative options. The experts are listed by topic below:

Effects of rising gasoline prices on consumer behavior

Kay Palan

Associate Dean, Undergraduate Programs, College of Business

Associate Professor of Marketing

515-294-9526, 515-298-3352 (c), kpalan@iastate.edu

Palan studies consumer socialization and family decision making. She can discuss how consumers' spending habits of both budgeted and discretionary income may be affected by rising energy costs. Palan also will explain how consumers view gasoline and energy in their family lives and how they may alter spending habits in light of price hikes. She teaches undergraduate and graduate classes on consumer behavior and strategic marketing.

Effects of gasoline prices on the trucking industry

Michael Crum

Associate Dean, Academic Programs, College of Business

Professor of Logistics and Supply Chain Management

515-294-8105, mcrum@iastate.edu

Crum researches freight transportation management, supply chain management, carrier management and truck driver issues. He can explain how rising fuel prices are affecting the trucking/transportation industries, and how those impacts will be felt by consumers at the cash register. Crum has consulted extensively with organizations such as the American Trucking Association, Barr-Nunn Transportation, C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Inc. and CSX Transportation. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in carrier management, transportation economics, business logistics and supply chain management.

Yoshi Suzuki

Sturgeon Faculty Fellow in Transportation

Associate Professor of Logistics and Supply Chain Management

(515) 294-5577, ysuzuki@iastate.edu

With seven years of industry experience, including physical distribution and transportation management, Suzuki's primary research interest is the quantitative modeling of transportation and logistics problems. He has developed a decision tool for trucking companies that reduces the cost of buying diesel fuel. He has published research in several of the top transportation and logistics journals.

Effect of biorenewable energy sources on food prices

Chad Hart

Agricultural Economist, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development

Head, CARD's Biorenewables Policy Division

515-294-9911, chart@iastate.edu

Hart's research interests are in the examination of biorenewable fuels production and the utilization of crops for that production, the analysis of federal agricultural program effects on the biorenewable fuels industry, and the impact of biorenewable fuels expansion on the traditional uses of agricultural crop production. Hart has been interviewed recently by national media outlets on how rising fuel prices have affected food prices.

Effect of biofuel sources on rural economies

Dave Swenson

Associate Scientist and Lecturer; Economics, Community and Regional Planning

515-294-7458, dswenson@iastate.edu

Swenson joined with ISU colleagues to author a 2006 research paper titled "Determining the Regional Economic Values of Ethanol Production in Iowa Considering Different Levels of Local Investment." He also authored an earlier paper titled "Input-Outrageous: The Economic Impacts of Modern Biofuel Production." He reports that in spite of rising corn prices during the biofuel boom, economic growth has not kept up in Iowa's rural areas -- with 49 of 99 counties still posting natural declines, meaning there are more deaths than births. "Rural areas are not doing that hot yet, in spite of all the chatter," said Swenson. The reason: "One person's gain has come at someone else's expense. If corn prices are high, profits at ethanol plants go down, as do the profits of other users of corn. We have much to learn before we understand all of the gains and offsets."

Effect of rising energy prices on crop production

Mike Duffy

Professor of Agricultural, Environmental and Resource Economics

515-294-6160, mduffy@iastate.edu

Duffy annually publishes the "Estimated Costs of Crop Production" report for ISU Extension. In it, he considers how rising energy prices impact the costs of crop production. He reports that the current production system is heavily based on petroleum -- meaning price swings have big impacts. He urges farmers to start thinking more about their energy use. "I think we had better get used to volatile energy prices," he wrote in his 2005 report. "I also think that they will

be volatile on the way up, not down. In my opinion, the days of cheap oil are over and not likely to return."

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Palan

Palan

Crum

Crum

Palan

Suzuki

Hart

Hart

Swenson

Swenson

Duffy

Duffy

Quick look

Iowa State University faculty and staff experts are available to provide comment on the societal and economic ramifications of such high gasoline prices, as well as some alternative options.