AAA: Gas prices up, but cheaper than last year

Posted at 1:03 PM, Apr 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-19 15:03:27-04

The AAA says drivers are getting a bargain at the gas pumps, with record-high fuel demand, declining refinery production and rising oil prices that have pushed U.S. and Idaho average prices to $2.11 and $2.15, respectively.

“Prices may move higher during the second quarter of the year in select regional markets due to intermittent supply challenges and increased demand for gasoline,” said Idaho AAA spokesman Dave Carlson.

But does that include Idaho? “Maybe,” Carlson said, “if the seven-cent increase taken by some Boise retail outlets yesterday is an indication of what’s around the corner.”  

Drivers on the West Coast are paying among the nation’s highest averages at the pump, and prices have risen as refineries work to meet growing demand. California continues to lead states with the highest fuel prices, with an average price today of $2.78. Nevada posted an average price today of $2.45, the third highest in the country.

“Any possible diversion of product shipments in the region can have a ripple effect that shows up in in the Gem State,” Carlson said. “But through the first four months of the year, Idaho’s price is still below the $2.25 to $2.50 range of price AAA predicted for the year.”

Idaho’s annual price in 2015 was $2.51. In the first four months of this year, Idahoans have paid an average price of $2.01, compared to $2.19 in the same time period a year ago. In the first four months of this year, the U.S. average has been $2.01, compared to $2.30 a year ago. 

“Volatility in the Midwest due to unplanned maintenance and the recent temporary shutdown of the Keystone pipeline following a recent leak has pushed prices up at least a dime in affected states in that region,” Carlson stated. 

Across Idaho today, pump prices in Boise are at $2.17/gallon; Coeur d’Alene, $2.03; Idaho Falls, $2.09; Lewiston, $2.17; Nampa, $2.17; Pocatello, $2.18; Twin Falls $2.12. Idaho’s average price a month ago was $1.93, Carlson said.