BOISE – Idaho drivers are still basking in holiday cheer by paying some of the state’s lowest gas prices in a year, but winter weather and year-end travel are causing the price of fill-ups to rise in other parts of the country.
According to AAA, the average price for a gallon of regular in the Gem State is $3.43, which is four cents less than a week ago and 54 cents less than a month ago. The national average currently sits at $3.23 per gallon, which is 13 cents more than a week ago, but 20 cents less than a month ago.
After several weeks in 7th or 8th place, Idaho currently ranks 9th in the nation for most expensive fuel behind Hawaii ($5.03), California ($4.43), Nevada ($3.98), Washington ($3.87), Oregon ($3.74), Alaska ($3.71), Pennsylvania ($3.63), and Washington, D.C. ($3.48).
“In the past few weeks, holiday travel increased the demand for gasoline, and then we saw severe winter storms raging across the country that motivated people to prepare by filling up their cars. That, combined with some temporary refinery shutdowns in places like Texas and the Gulf Coast, put additional pressure on pump prices in some parts of the U.S.,” says AAA Idaho spokesman Matthew Conde. “Demand will likely level off throughout the month of January, and with refineries back up and running, we could continue to see favorable gas prices to kick off the new year.”
2022 gas price comparison – Idaho vs. U.S. average
2022 was a year marked by extremely volatile crude oil prices and robust travel activity that nearly rivaled pre-pandemic levels for every major holiday. Surging fuel prices in Idaho and across the country were similar for the first half of the year, but the gap widened during the busy summer months.
“During the pandemic, people had fewer travel options. As a result, some families were able to save up discretionary income that they could use in 2022 to make their holiday road trips possible, even with much higher gas prices,” Conde said. “It will be very interesting to see how people’s pain thresholds change or stay the same when it comes to gas prices this year.”
Today, the West Texas Intermediate benchmark for crude oil is trading near $78 per barrel, which is $2 less than a month ago and $2 more than a year ago.
“The cost of crude oil, which makes up more than half of the price of finished gasoline, has been really topsy-turvy over the past few months. With OPEC’s ongoing production cuts, the nearly-global boycott of Russian crude, and continued concerns over the possibility of a recession or economic slowdown, there’s a lot of uncertainty in the market, which makes everything really jumpy,” Conde said. “We’ll be keeping a close eye on how things go, with fuel demand expected to ramp up again in the spring.”
Here’s a look at Idaho gas prices as of 1/3/23:
- Boise – $3.49
- Coeur d’Alene – $3.01
- Franklin – $3.40
- Idaho Falls – $3.47
- Lewiston – $3.58
- Pocatello – $3.40
- Rexburg – $3.49
- Twin Falls – $3.46