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Idaho pump prices down a penny as fuel demand plunges


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BOISE – Idaho joins the group of 44 states that saw gas prices drop this week, even though Utah, where most of the Gem State’s fuel is refined, had a one-cent increase.

According to AAA, Idaho’s gas prices dipped by a penny, while the national average dropped by two cents. Lower fuel demand is the main reason for this week’s price movement.

Although domestic gasoline stocks decreased by 1.6 million barrels to 225 million on hand, demand followed suit, as drivers purchased just 8.6 million barrels of finished gasoline per day, down from 8.9 million the week before.

“Colder temperatures and a growing number of COVID-19 cases nationwide could further reduce the demand for fuel in the coming weeks,” says Matthew Conde, public affairs director for AAA Idaho. “Idahoans and Americans everywhere continue to face health and safety precautions that affect how they work and play, which in some ways can limit their fuel consumption.”

As of Monday, Idaho’s average price for regular is $2.36, which is nine cents less than a month ago and 49 cents cheaper than a year ago. Drivers in the Treasure Valley are paying a penny less per gallon than a week ago, but some of the biggest savings on the week were in the Panhandle, where Coeur d’Alene prices dropped by three cents per gallon, and Lewiston prices dropped by two cents. Twin Falls drivers experienced more fluctuation than other parts of the Gem State – prices there briefly hit $2.38 a week ago, then increased three cents before finally settling at $2.40 per gallon today.

The current U.S. average is $2.17, which is two cents less than a month ago and 49 cents less than a year ago. The least expensive fuel can once again be purchased in Mississippi, at $1.84 per gallon. Idaho is currently ranked 9th in the country for most expensive fuel.

Here’s a sample of gas prices around the Gem State as of Oct. 19:

Boise – $2.35

Coeur d’Alene – $2.20

Franklin – $2.40

Idaho Falls – $2.28

Lewiston – $2.37

Pocatello – $2.38

Twin Falls – $2.40

Slow down, move over

October 19 is National Move Over Awareness Day, an opportunity to remind drivers that if they are traveling in an adjacent lane and see flashing lights from a tow truck, incident response vehicle or first responder on the side of the road, Idaho law requires them to slow down below the speed limit, and, if possible, move over to another travel lane. An average of 23 tow operators are killed at the roadside every year, about one every other week. AAA encourages drivers to give tow operators, construction workers and first responders plenty of room to safely do their job.

“The human cost doesn’t end with the tragic loss of life,” Conde explained. “Many more workers are seriously injured each year. Even a collision with a stationary tow vehicle can be devastating because many of these tow operators are small business owners, and if their vehicle is out of service, they can’t provide for their families. Emergency workers at the roadside deserve to be protected. They make the roads safer and more efficient for the rest of us.”

Unfortunately, fewer than 30% of Americans know about “Slow Down, Move Over” laws, putting roadside workers at unnecessary risk, including here in Idaho.

“We’re doing our part to spread the word, but we need the public’s help to get the message out,” Conde said.