AAA: Idaho to see cheaper gas prices

Posted at 11:29 AM, Dec 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-21 13:29:45-05

Idaho pump prices continue to defy the national trend by steadily falling -- even as the national average has been rising, according to the Idaho AAA.

“Aside from winter weather, the timing couldn’t be better for holiday travelers anxious to visit family and friends throughout the Gem State and beyond,” said Idaho AAA Public Affairs Manager Matthew Conde.

In the weeks following OPEC’s November 30 announcement that its partners would reduce global oil production beginning January 1, concerns over future supply put upward pressure on gas prices across the country. In the meantime, Idaho’s prices briefly dipped below the national average, ending a streak of higher prices that began in March 2015.

“Idahoans have consistently paid thirty cents more per gallon this year when compared to their national counterparts,” said Conde. “Recent price changes have finally leveled the playing field,” Conde explained.

Today’s national average price for regular gasoline is $2.24, compared to $2.25 in Idaho. Idahoans will pay about twelve cents more than a year ago, but fifteen cents less than a month ago.

Among Idaho’s neighbors, the Gem State has enjoyed the highest monthly discount at the pump, with prices dropping more than 18 cents per gallon.

“It’s perfect timing for many holiday travelers who will fill up and hit the roads during the holiday period from December 23 through January 3,” Conde stated.

Nationally, AAA predicts a record number of year-end travelers -– more than 103 million –- will travel fifty miles or more to visit family and friends at the close of the year. 

514,000 Idahoans will embark on a holiday travel adventure.

Idaho’s gas prices are now 23rd in the nation, following months of ranking in the top ten.  Recent winter storms have likely lessened seasonal demand in the Gem State, and the switch to cheaper to produce winter-blend fuel has pressured pump prices lower.

“Idaho’s gas prices won’t buck the national trend indefinitely, but even a brief seasonal discount can bring welcome financial relief and make the holiday season a little merrier,” Conde said.