BOISE, Idaho — For the second week in a row, Idaho’s average gas price dropped fourteen cents per gallon, pushing Gem State pump prices ever closer to the $2-per-gallon mark. Now just seventeen cents away, Idaho drivers could be paying less than $2 for fuel in the next couple of weeks, similar to many of their counterparts across the country, according to AAA Idaho.
As of Tuesday. April 7th, Idaho’s average price is $2.17 per gallon, which is 39 cents less than a month ago and 47 cents less than a year ago. “But many of their fellow motorists won’t be impressed. The current U.S. average is $1.92 per gallon, which is 48 cents less than a month ago, and 82 cents less than a year ago,” said AAA Idaho spokesman Matt Conde. “Idaho currently ranks eleventh in the nation for most expensive gas prices, but usually falls in the seventh- to ninth–place range.
Stay-home orders, safety precautions, and economic uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic are keeping more Americans close to home, despite the return of warm weather that usually triggers the start of road trip season and weekend getaways.
“According to the latest report from the Energy Information Administration, nationwide demand for fuel has dropped to just 6.7 million barrels per day, a level that we haven’t seen since 1993,” said Conde. “The economic engine is definitely sputtering while we work to limit the effects of COVID-19, and gas prices are falling faster than expected.”
With this week’s declines, Montana joins Colorado on the list of state averages in the Rockies region that fall below $1.99-per-gallon. Wyoming is expected to reach the $2-per-gallon as early as this week, with Idaho and Utah poised to follow suit in the near future.
Gasoline stocks in the region remain about one million barrels higher than last year, despite regional refinery utilization rates dropping to 75 percent.
Meanwhile, global crude oil prices remain abnormally low amid an ongoing price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia, applying further downward pressure on gas prices, experts explained. Today, the West Texas Intermediate benchmark for crude oil is trading near $27 per barrel, which is fourteen dollars less than a month ago and 37 dollars less than a year ago.