BOISE – While gas prices could resemble a roller coaster ride this summer, Idaho drivers are already starting to feel some uncomfortable twists and turns at the pump.

According to AAA, today’s average price for a gallon of regular in the Gem State is $3.89, which is six cents more than a week ago and 13 cents more than a month ago.  But for those in search of a silver lining, AAA also reports that the current price is $1 per gallon cheaper than a year ago.

In stark contrast, the national average currently sits at $3.55 per gallon, a three-cent drop from a week ago and a penny less than a month ago.

Today, Idaho ranks 9th in the country for most expensive fuel behind California ($4.87), Hawaii ($4.73), Washington ($4.71), Arizona ($4.42), Oregon ($4.28), Nevada ($4.27), Utah ($4.14), and Alaska ($3.97).  Utah refineries are the main supplier of Idaho fuel.  At $2.96 per gallon, Mississippi is currently the only state in the U.S. where pump prices average below the $3 mark.

“If the economy were an airplane, the captain would be asking everyone to buckle up and prepare for turbulence,” says AAA Idaho public affairs director Matthew Conde.  “On one hand, fuel demand will trend higher throughout the busy summer driving season, which could move crude and gasoline prices higher, especially when coupled with Saudi Arabia’s announcement over the weekend that it will cut another 1 million barrels in crude oil production per day.  On the other hand, inflation concerns and continued fears over the possibility of a global recession may curb some of the price spikes that we’d otherwise see.  From a price standpoint, it could be a really topsy-turvy summer.”

AAA says that gasoline demand will likely accelerate as more kids finish the school year.  As families begin to set out on summer road trips, pump prices could climb even higher.

Despite Saudi Arabia’s announcement, with additional cuts likely taking effect in July, crude oil prices remain calm – for now.  The West Texas Intermediate benchmark for crude is currently trading near $73 per barrel, the same as a week ago, but $2 more than a month ago.  Crude prices have hovered in the high $60 and low $70 range since the beginning of May, a drop from $83 earlier in the year.

“Right now, we don’t anticipate many people giving up on their summer travel plans, especially with where prices were a year ago,” Conde said.  “But it’s still a good idea to bundle your errands whenever possible, avoid stop-and-go traffic, and take full advantage of any fuel rewards points that you can earn at grocery stores and other retailers.  That could help cushion the blow a bit.”

Here’s a look at Idaho gas prices as of 6/5/23:

Boise – $3.93

Coeur d’Alene – $3.90

Franklin – $4.16

Idaho Falls – $3.76

Lewiston – $3.89

Pocatello – $3.88

Rexburg – $3.81

Twin Falls – $3.84