Lower Idaho gas prices as the start of the summer driving season arrives.

AAA Idaho says drivers are paying 40 cents less than the same time last year at the pump. A departure from most summers that face refinery fires or other disruptions.
Posted at 9:52 AM, Jun 20, 2024

BOISE, Idaho — Gas prices are on a steady slide at a time when prices are normally on the rise. AAA Idaho says gas prices in the Idaho are down 40 cents from the same time last year.

  • Gas prices normally rise in the summer thanks to the changeover to the summer fuel mixture at refineries.
  • Also, more people are taking road trips during the summer raising demand and gas prices.
  • Matthew Conde with AAA Idaho speculates that oil companies cleared a big backlog of repairs during coronavirus that has the industry working at peak efficiency.

(Verbatim of story that aired is below)

Summer is here and that usually means a spike in driving and gas prices as a result. You might have noticed this year that hasn’t happened. What’s going on? AAA says it’s a perfect storm of timing and good luck.

When you go to fill up your tank in the summer, there’s always that moment when you peer into that little window and exhale at the rise in gas prices that seems eternal.

But not this year.

“All systems are go right now, these refineries are humming along no issues no pipeline problems, you know usually when they make that switch to summer blend fuel, that’s when you discover an issue, that's when there’s a maintenance backlog, that’s when you have problems. But right now none of those things seem to be happening,” said Matthew Conde with AAA Idaho.

Even despite OPEC'S attempts to raise prices, they’ve been dropping instead.

AAA says they’re down 40 cents from last year, and have dropped 25 cents a gallon over the last month.

“I have a couple pickups too so I’m excited for that,” said driver Shawn Omerovic.

“Yeah, I have noticed that now that you mention it. It is rare,” said driver Kyle Mossi.

Of course, it doesn’t hurt to show customer appreciation by knocking off 30 cents a gallon of gas like they did at Liberty’s Franklin Market for one day only, but these days, the price of gas just seems to keep on going down.

It can’t last forever, but Conde says he expects it to continue for the next week or so thanks to efficiency at the refineries.

“To be at 97 percent here in the Rockies for refineries in oil production and 95 percent overall nationwide, that just speaks to everything being well oiled right now,” said Conde.

You’ll have to pardon the pun.

So, why do the refineries have their business in order?

Conde has a theory.

“A couple years ago with the pandemic stuff, they caught up on a lot of refinery stuff, got everything up and running. So a lot of that backlog of stuff kind of went away,” said Conde.

Whatever the reason, it’s a nice change at the pump, for however long it lasts.

Right now, AAA says the US is producing more gas than it’s using. But that will likely change with the 4th of July travel forecast expected out soon.