IDAHO FALLS — Gas prices dropped another 14 cents on average in Idaho and could keep dropping.
AAA Idaho is predicting average gas prices throughout the state could drop below $2 per gallon within the next two weeks. Yet, Idaho is still ranked 11th in the nation for the most expensive gas prices.
As of Tuesday, the average price of a gallon of gas in Idaho is $2.17. That’s a drop of 39 cents over the last month. Locally, the average is $2.07 in Idaho Falls and in Pocatello, the average is $2.19.
There are a number of local gas stations where prices already have fallen below $2. Gasbudy.com is showing that many Idaho Falls gastations have dropped their prices that low.
The national average is $1.92. That’s 87 cents lower than last month.
“We were always thinking that gas prices could get down close to the $2 level. I don’t think that we thought it would happen this quickly, but there’s been just a pronounced effect from people staying closer to home,” AAA Idaho spokesman Matthew Conde told EastIdahoNews.com.
Conde said the national demand for fuel is down to just 6.7 million barrels a day. Demand for fuel has not been that low since 1993.
“The economic engine is definitely sputtering while we work to limit the effects of COVID-19, and gas prices are falling faster than expected,” Conde said in a news release.
Even with the falling prices, Conde said other than essential workers who are still able to travel, people aren’t getting the benefits of cheap gas.
He explained that not even the shipping industry in the United States is benefiting much from the lower prices.
“A lot of the critical infrastructure is backlogged because of everybody else staying home,” Conde said. “So it’s maybe a little cheaper to move some of the goods around, but there are more orders out there and just so many bodies are tied up that it’s tough right now for delivering and shipping.”
On the international front, crude oil prices have dropped around $27 per barrel, that’s $14 less than last month and $37 less than last year.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, known as OPEC, plans to meet this week to discuss possibly cutting oil production, according to a AAA news release.
Cutting production could lead to a temporary rebound in oil prices but the market isn’t likely to fully recover until the end of the pandemic, the news release says.
In the meantime, as less people are using their vehicles, Conde gave some advice on how to make sure vehicles will be ready to go when life returns to normal.
“Make sure that battery terminals are clean, tight and free of corrosion. Move the car periodically to prevent flat spots from forming on the tires. If the car is due for an oil change, consider having it done to remove any acids and contaminants, but make sure your repair shop is open and able to meet the necessary health and safety standards through social distancing and a high degree of cleanliness,” Conde said in a news release.