LEWISTON – Idaho drivers are finally beginning to see some relief at the pump now that the state’s average gas price is below the $5 mark and has been steadily falling for the past few weeks. But with crude oil still above $90 per barrel, a sudden increase in fuel demand or a disruption in the supply chain could quickly reverse the trend.
According to AAA, Idaho’s average price for a gallon of regular is $4.91, which is 11 cents less than a week ago and 34 cents less than a month ago. Meanwhile, the national average currently sits at $4.21 per gallon, which is 14 cents less than a week ago and 63 cents less than a month ago.
Today, the Gem State ranks 7th in the country for most expensive fuel behind California ($5.61), Hawaii ($5.44), Alaska ($5.09), Nevada ($5.08), Oregon ($5.07), and Washington ($5.01). At $3.71 per gallon, the cheapest fuel in the U.S. can be found in Texas.
“We may see a cyclical pattern in the run-up to Labor Day, where falling gas prices prompt an occasional surge in fuel demand, followed by upward pressure on crude oil and gas prices that curbs that demand,” says AAA Idaho public affairs director Matthew Conde. “The market is pretty skittish right now, but significant price drops may come in the fall, provided that we avoid the misfortune of a hurricane making landfall near a major refinery or some other supply chain issue.”
The West Texas Intermediate benchmark for crude oil is currently trading near $94 per barrel, which is $14 less than a month ago but $20 more than a year ago.
Nearly two-thirds of Americans have changed driving habits to combat high gas prices
In a new AAA survey, 64% of U.S. adults say that they’ve changed their driving habits since March – when gas prices skyrocketed – with 23% making “major changes.” The top three adjustments are driving less (88%), combining errands (74%), and reducing shopping or dining out (56%). About 30% say that they’ve delayed major purchases or postponed vacations due to higher pump prices.
“As we’ve seen this summer, there are still plenty of travelers in the air and on the road, but for some people, the pain of expensive fuel is just too much right now,” Conde said. “Going to ‘one-stop shops’ where you can do banking, grocery shopping, and other activities without a lot of extra driving may help stretch your gas budget a little further.”
AAA reminds drivers that fuel economy peaks at around 50 mph on most cars, then drops off as speeds increase. If you tend to drive over the speed limit, reducing highway speeds by 5 to 10 mph can improve fuel economy by as much as 14%. Drivers should also keep their tires properly inflated, and never pay for premium gas unless specifically required by the vehicle manufacturer.
According to the Energy Information Administration’s most recent report, U.S. gasoline demand jumped from 8.5 million barrels per day to 9.25 million b/d last week. Additionally, domestic gasoline stocks decreased by 3.3 million barrels. If the trend of higher demand and shrinking supply continues this week, gas prices could level off or even increase.
“Gas is now below $4 per gallon at nearly half of the gas stations around the country,” Conde said. “That may entice some people who were previously undecided to make one last push to complete summer travel plans.”
Here’s a look at Idaho gas prices as of 8/1/22:
- Boise – $5.00
- Coeur d’Alene – $4.67
- Franklin – $4.87
- Idaho Falls – $4.94
- Lewiston – $4.45
- Moscow – $4.89
- Pocatello – $4.92
- Rexburg – $4.95
- Twin Falls – $4.94