BOISE — In what AAA officials are calling “an unusual trend,” Idaho’s average gas prices continue to drop, even as the U.S. average steadily increases. “Gem State pump prices are now ten cents cheaper than the national average,” said Idaho AAA spokesman Matt Conde.
Since January 1, U.S. average fuel prices have increased by thirteen cents. Over the same period, Idaho’s prices have dropped 28 cents –- a welcome beginning to the year, Conde said.
In some parts of the country, gas prices have increased due to rising crude oil prices and steady demand. But in other locations, especially those with severe winter weather, concerns over fuel availability have motivated drivers to stock up -- driving prices higher.
“The national average typically functions like a train engine, pulling state averages like Idaho’s along for the ride,” Conde explained. “However, Idaho is toward the back of the train, and our state is generally one of the last to react when the U.S. average changes. In this case, that’s a very good thing.”
Today, the U.S. average is $2.39 per gallon, which is twelve cents more than a month ago, but still twelve cents less than a year ago, according to a AAA report.
In Idaho, the current price is $2.29, which is thirteen cents less than a month ago, and 29 cents less than a year ago. Compared to neighboring state, (Washington with $2.86, Oregon with $2.74, and Nevada with $2.84), Idahoans have plenty to celebrate.
Domestic oil production is at an all-time high. According to the Energy Information Administration, U.S. oil production recently topped 12 million barrels per day, the highest amount ever recorded. Although the U.S. lost four oil rigs on the week, there are still 854 operational -– 54 more than this time last year. Recent production growth has raised domestic crude inventories to 455 million barrels.
In the Rockies, gasoline stocks dipped slightly below 7.5 million barrels to end the week, but current supplies are healthy enough to offset price fluctuations in other areas.
“Idaho gas prices are likely to increase in the near future, for a number of reasons,” Conde explained. “Rising crude oil prices, spring travel demand, the upcoming switch to more-expensive summer-blend fuel, and seasonal refinery maintenance are all variables that AAA will be watching in the coming weeks. But for now, we’re happy to keep saving at the pump.”
Here’s a look at gas prices around Idaho:
American Falls, $2.29
Bonners Ferry, $2.35
Coeur d’Alene, $2.26
Dalton Gardens, $2.22
Grand View, $2.50
Horseshoe Bend, $2.24
Idaho Falls, $2.24
Island Park, $2.67
Lava Hot Springs, $2.30
Mountain Home, $2.18
New Meadows, $2.43
New Plymouth, $2.29
Post Falls, $2.30
Sugar City, $2.37
Twin Falls, $2.25
Wallace, $2.39 and