AAA: Idaho gas prices stable –- but still higher than most

Posted at 9:42 AM, Jul 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-12 13:56:43-04

Stable is good -- if you’re buying gas and prices aren’t rising. That’s what has happened this summer in Idaho and in the Rocky Mountain region, as supply and demand is keeping prices largely in balance, according to the AAA Idaho.

“Idaho motorists are paying $2.47 on average for regular grade gasoline, the eighth highest in the U.S. -- and 24 cents more than the $2.23 national mark,” said AAA Idaho spokesman Dave Carlson. “Fortunately, Idaho’s average pump price is 59 cents lower than a year ago, and is at the lowest level for July going back to 2005.”

AAA says U.S. pump prices have now fallen for 30 straight days -- the longest streak since August/September of last year -- and are at the lowest mark for this date since 2004, he added. “They are poised to continue sliding this week as both crude oil and wholesale gasoline prices turned lower last week. Global oil prices have slid thanks largely to indications of increased supply,” he pointed out.

While retail gas price declines continue, other factors -- like an increase in the global price of crude oil due to disruptions in supply factors -- could cause prices to rise again, experts predict. Stronger than expected economic indicators or geopolitical concerns overseas could also boost prices, they said. 

Domestic factors including refinery shutdowns, production cuts due to lower prices, and or hurricanes could also impact distribution and production of finished gasoline product. 

Drivers on the West Coast continue to pay the most expensive prices in the nation, studies show. Idaho and neighbors, California, Washington, Oregon and Nevada share among the highest prices in the U.S. 

“Idaho prices seem to draft off influences, including the fact there are fewer refineries in the West that either cannot or do not produce spare supplies of fuel for the region,” said Carlson. “The region’s isolation from refineries near enough to boost competitive pricing tends to keep pump prices higher.” 

Tuesday’s gas prices across the state were: Arco, $2.48; Boise, $2.52; Coeur d’Alene, $2.46; Driggs, $2.54; Idaho Falls, $2.38; Kooskia, $2.39; Lewiston, $2.34; Nampa, $2.52; Pocatello, $2.40; Riggins, $2.60; Twin Falls, $2.39.