BOISE – Drivers in the Gem State are paying much more for a gallon of gas than in other parts of the country, but so far, the heavy impact of a recent surge in pump prices has been felt primarily in northern Idaho.
Today, Idaho’s average price for regular is $4.42 per gallon, which is the same as a week ago and six cents less than a month ago. Meanwhile, the national average currently sits at $3.92, which is 12 cents more than a week ago and 20 cents more than a month ago.
The Gem State currently ranks 8th in the U.S. for most expensive fuel behind California ($6.33), Alaska ($5.54), Oregon ($5.53), Nevada ($5.44), Washington ($5.40), Hawaii ($5.21), and Arizona ($4.56).
When several California refineries shut down for routine maintenance and fuel supplies were depleted along the West Coast, gas prices shot up, including in the Idaho Panhandle where drivers have shared the pain with neighboring Washington. But with more refineries coming back online, gas prices are now under pressure from other sources.
“The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and their partners, known as OPEC+, recently agreed to cut crude oil production by another two million barrels per day, and fuel demand also increased substantially last week. Both could spell trouble for the price of future fill-ups,” says AAA Idaho public affairs director Matthew Conde. “Hopefully, chilly weather will motivate people to stay closer to home, with falling demand acting as a relief valve to keep pump prices in check.”
According to the Energy Information Administration, gasoline demand jumped to 9.5 million barrels per day, up from 8.8 million a week ago. In response to OPEC’s announcement, The West Texas Intermediate benchmark for crude oil is currently trading near $92 per barrel, up $12 from the beginning of the month.
If the market sees indicators of weakening oil demand in the coming weeks, either due to continued COVID-19 lockdowns in China or fears of an economic recession, crude prices could ease, bringing fuel prices back down. But AAA warns that prices could be wobbly in the run-up to the holidays.
“If the states were all lined up like rail cars, Idaho and its Rocky Mountain neighbors would be back by the caboose and are generally among the last to react to major gas price movements on the national level,” Conde said. “But if the U.S. average continues to climb, it’s only a matter of time before prices here follow suit.”
Here’s a look at Idaho gas prices as of 10/10/22:
- Boise – $4.39
- Coeur d’Alene – $4.63
- Franklin – $4.06
- Idaho Falls – $4.27
- Lewiston – $4.63
- Moscow — $4.76
- Pocatello – $4.31
- Rexburg – $4.35
- Twin Falls – $4.33