Idaho gas prices inch higher. Is drivers' luck about to run out? - East Idaho News
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Idaho gas prices inch higher. Is drivers’ luck about to run out?

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The following is a news release from AAA Idaho.

BOISE – With St. Patrick’s Day fast approaching, Idaho drivers may have a tough time finding good luck at the pump.

According to AAA, Idaho’s average price for a gallon of regular gasoline is $3.67, which is two cents more than a week ago and the same price as a month ago. Meanwhile, the U.S. average currently sits at $3.47, which is six cents more than a week ago and five cents more than a month ago.

Today, the Gem State ranks 10th in the country for most expensive fuel behind California ($4.92), Hawaii ($4.84), Nevada ($4.33), Washington ($4.25), Arizona ($3.95), Colorado ($3.91), Oregon ($3.91), Utah ($3.86), and Alaska ($3.80). Today’s cheapest fuel can be found in Mississippi ($3.02), with no states currently below the $3 mark.

“With the anticipated surge of spring break travel and the return of expensive summer-blend gasoline, we could be just weeks away from $4 gas in some parts of our state,” says AAA Idaho public affairs director Matthew Conde. “But if there is a silver lining, it would be that today’s pump prices are still about 70 cents cheaper than a year ago, which at least provides a little breathing room for those who are planning a spring break road trip.”

According to the most recent report by the Energy Information Administration, gasoline demand slipped from 9.1 million to 8.6 million barrels per day, but total domestic supplies also declined by more than a million barrels during the same time period. When supplies are tight and demand begins to rise, higher pump prices are more likely to occur.

Meanwhile, refineries in the Rockies region are currently operating near an 81% production rate, a 3% decrease from the previous week. The Suncor facility in Colorado, which supplies roughly 40% of that state’s finished gasoline (including in the Denver metro area), is slowly restoring operations after a December fire forced a shutdown that lasted more than two months.

The West Texas Intermediate benchmark for crude oil is currently trading near $75 per barrel, which is $5 less than a month ago and $28 less than a year ago. The cost of crude oil makes up more than half of the price of gasoline.

The Chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve recently indicated that additional interest rate increases are likely. The market is concerned about the possibility of a recession, which would lower oil demand in the face of reduced economic activity. If these concerns continue, they could lead to downward pressure on oil prices and, in turn, the price of fill-ups.

Here’s a look at Idaho gas prices, as of March 13:

Boise – $3.82
Coeur d’Alene – $3.39
Franklin – $3.85
Idaho Falls – $3.50
Lewiston – $3.44
Pocatello – $3.66
Rexburg – $3.56
Twin Falls – $3.76