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Idaho gas prices drop but could be short-lived


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IDAHO FALLS — Idaho drivers saw relief at the pumps this week, but the feeling could be short-lived – according to AAA, the rising price of crude oil could keep gas prices high well into the fall.

The average price for regular in the Gem State is $3.75 per gallon, which is two cents less than a week ago and a nickel cheaper than a month ago. Meanwhile, the U.S. average currently sits at $3.19, a penny cheaper than a week ago and four cents less than a month ago. While fuel demand is falling as people stay closer to home, pressure on the supply side is growing.

“OPEC’s crude oil production has been well short of expectations this year, and nearly 16 percent of production in the Gulf of Mexico is still offline in the aftermath of Hurricanes Ida and Nicholas,” says AAA Idaho spokesman Matthew Conde. “Add in the reports that the Federal Reserve may raise interest rates in 2022 and end the bond-purchase program that’s been supporting the economy since the beginning of the pandemic, and you’ve got a really jittery market right now.”

The West Texas Intermediate benchmark for crude oil is currently trading above $75 per barrel. The price of crude makes up about half the price of finished gasoline.

This week, gas prices fluctuated throughout the country, with the biggest changes in Michigan (+8 cents), Ohio (-8 cents), Indiana (-6 cents), Illinois (-5 cents), Kentucky (-5 cents), Nevada (-4 cents), Delaware (+3 cents), Florida (-3 cents), Maryland (+2 cents), and Utah (-2 cents).

“The return of cold weather could push fuel demand lower in the coming weeks, which may help balance the scales with rising crude oil prices,” Conde said. “But in the short run, drivers could easily see pump prices teeter-totter back and forth.”

Here’s a selection of Idaho gas prices as of Sept. 27:

  • Boise – $3.86
  • Coeur d’Alene – $3.43
  • Franklin – $3.76
  • Idaho Falls – $3.68
  • Lewiston – $3.40
  • Pocatello – $3.79
  • Twin Falls – $3.84