BOISE – Idaho gas prices are on the rise, but drivers here continue to pay less than many of their counterparts nationwide.

According to AAA, today’s average price for a gallon of regular in the Gem State is $3.44 per gallon, which is a nickel more than a week ago, but the same price as a month ago.  Meanwhile, the national average currently sits at $3.51 per gallon, which is nine cents more than a week ago and 33 cents more than a month ago.  Today, Idaho ranks 21st in the country for most expensive fuel.

While Idaho’s average price sharply increased at the beginning of last week, it has held steady for the past five days.  Frigid temperatures could be lending a helping hand.

“In some parts of the U.S., it’s being called ‘the winter that wasn’t,’ and Americans have fueled up to take advantage of milder-than-expected weather.  But here in Idaho, we’ve been feeling the chill, which could be curbing regional demand and keeping pump prices from rising as quickly as they have in other parts of the country,” says AAA Idaho public affairs director Matthew Conde.  “But the combination of high crude oil costs and extremely cold weather could make the price of fill-ups a little wobbly this week.”

Gas prices surged this week in areas like the Treasure Valley (+10 cents), the Magic Valley (+6 cents), Pocatello (+7 cents), Lewiston (+10 cents), and Franklin (+12 cents), but they’ve been steadier in places like Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls.  As local weather and fuel demand fluctuate throughout the week, pump prices may ebb and flow.

In the Rockies region, fuel supplies have been hard-hit by the emergency closure of the Suncor refinery in Colorado in late December.  The refinery, which is expected to remain offline until late March, supplies 35-40% of the gasoline products used in Colorado, including the Denver area.

The resulting closure sent the Rockies region’s refinery utilization rate plummeting to just 60%, but with other refineries stepping up to offset some of Suncor’s lost production this week, the rate jumped back to 65% in the Energy Information Administration’s most recent report.  As long as gasoline supplies remain tight, any surge in demand could apply upward pressure on pump prices.

The West Texas Intermediate benchmark for crude oil is currently trading near $78 per barrel, which is $4 less than a week ago and $2 less than a month ago.  Crude prices have hovered near the $80 mark for the past few weeks amid the market’s continued belief that China’s efforts to re-open its economy will create more demand for crude in the future.

Here’s a look at Idaho gas prices as of 1/30/23:

  • Boise – $3.53
  • Coeur d’Alene – $3.24
  • Franklin – $3.38
  • Idaho Falls – $3.30
  • Lewiston – $3.58
  • Pocatello – $3.41
  • Rexburg – $3.52
  • Twin Falls – $3.46