BOISE, Idaho — After a turbulent week at the pump, Idaho gas prices jumped another twelve cents -- despite leading the nation with a sixteen-cent increase just the week before.
As COVID-19 restrictions ease in the Gem State and around the country, more people are getting behind the wheel, which continues to apply upward pressure on gas prices.
“It’s a bit of a double-edged sword. On one hand, you have more people commuting to work and patronizing brick-and-mortar businesses, which increases the traffic volume. On the other hand, those who are staying closer to home are getting more involved in e-commerce, which raises the miles traveled by delivery vehicles,” said AAA Idaho Public Affairs Director Matthew Conde. “Demand is pushing gas prices higher, and the trend is likely to continue this week.”
Idaho’s price increase was the fourth largest in the nation this week. First and second place for the week go to regional neighbors Colorado (+16 cents) and Utah (+15). Idaho currently offers the twelfth highest price in the country for regular fuel.
With an average price of $1.58 per gallon, the cheapest gas in the country can be purchased in Mississippi.
“Today, Gem State drivers are paying an average of $2.14 per gallon, which is 29 cents more than a month ago, but still $1.06 cheaper than a year ago,” Conde said. “Meanwhile, the current U.S. average is $1.96, which is eighteen cents less than a month ago and 87 cents cheaper than a year ago. The national average could hit the $2 mark as early as this week.”
In the Rockies region, gasoline stock levels have decreased by eighteen percent since the beginning of April, but they remain 1.3 million barrels above where they were a year ago -- which is part of the reason why gas prices remain significantly lower than they were this time last year, experts said.
Today, the West Texas Intermediate benchmark for crude oil is $34 per barrel, which is $15 more than a month ago, but $25 less than a year ago. “If the market continues to believe that crude oil production cuts by OPEC members and Russia are having the desired effect of shrinking the global supply, and if gasoline demand continues to grow, oil prices will increase,” Conde said.
Here’s a sample of today’s gas prices around the Gem State:
Boise - $2.24
Coeur d’Alene - $1.86
Franklin - $2.14
Idaho Falls - $2.10
Lewiston - $1.94
Pocatello - $2.12
Twin Falls - $2.18