BOISE – Unfortunately, it’s not an April Fool’s joke – Idaho gas prices are soaring again.  According to AAA, today’s average price for a gallon of regular in the Gem State is $3.67, which is 15 cents more than a week ago, 46 cents more than a month ago, and 12 cents more than a year ago.

Meanwhile, the national average currently sits at $3.53 per gallon, which is the same as a week ago, 20 cents more than a month ago, and three cents more than a year ago.

Idaho has moved up in the rankings to 11th place for most expensive fuel and could be back in the top ten later this week.  On the week, Utah and Idaho’s price jumps were the highest in the country at 18 cents and 15 cents, respectively.

“The cost of crude oil is climbing, and regional refineries are producing well below others nationwide.  Those factors may be applying upward pressure on Idaho gas prices, despite a slight dip in U.S. demand and a slight bump in supplies,” says AAA Idaho public affairs director Matthew Conde.  “After months of year-over-year savings, expensive fill-ups are back with a vengeance.”

Every spring, refineries make the switch to summer-blend fuel, which is more resistant to evaporation at high heat but is more costly to make.  Refineries also use this transition period to complete routine maintenance and to make any unexpected repairs.

According to a report by the Energy Information Administration, Rockies refineries are currently operating at around 81% of capacity, well below the average production of 89% nationwide.

The West Texas Intermediate benchmark for crude oil is currently trading near $84 per barrel, which is $4 more than a month ago and $8 more than a year ago.  Crude oil makes up more than half of the price of finished gasoline.

“Ukraine’s recent targeting of Russia’s crude oil infrastructure has created some uncertainty in the global market, which has likely contributed to higher crude oil prices,” Conde said.  “And with the return of warm weather, road trip season is just around the corner, which could push demand much higher in the coming weeks and months.  However, we don’t believe that many people are willing to cancel their spring and summer travel plans at this point.”

EIA further reports that gas demand dipped slightly this week from 8.81 to 8.72 million barrels per day, while gasoline stocks increased by 1.3 million barrels.

Drivers can stretch their fuel budget by removing anything heavy that they don’t need off of the roof rack and out of the trunk, by making sure tires are properly inflated, and by maximizing fuel rewards points from grocery store purchases.

Here’s a look at Idaho gas prices as of 4/1/24:

  • Boise – $3.71
  • Coeur d’Alene – $3.74
  • Franklin – $3.77
  • Idaho Falls – $3.47
  • Lewiston – $3.71
  • Pocatello – $3.58
  • Rexburg – $3.56
  • Twin Falls – $3.60