BOISE – Three-dollar gasoline is back, and Idaho′s average diesel price has topped $3.64 for the first time ever, generating more questions than answers and uncertainty about where the markets will be a month from now, according to AAA Idaho.
“Gas prices are rising to catch up with crude oil prices that closed above $95 a barrel on Friday, and all of this is occurring against a backdrop of tight oil supplies, a weak dollar and possible U.N. sanctions against Iran,” said AAA Idaho Director of Public and Government Affairs Dave Carlson.
Carlson said the silver lining may be that driver demand is lower during the fall months, so gas price increases are much less pronounced than those earlier in the year that pushed prices to record levels.
Based on AAA′s Daily Fuel Gauge Report (www.fuelgaugereport.com), Idaho′s average price for regular gasoline is $3.02, up 19 cents since October 15, and 59 cents above a year ago. The U.S. average price is $3.00, up 24 cents during the same period, and 80 cents higher than a year ago.
AAA Idaho said Gem State motorists are paying the third highest diesel prices ($3.64) in the country, behind Hawaii, $3.73; and Washington, $3.72. Idaho′s previous record diesel price, prior to the recent run up, was $3.56, set in August 2006. The U.S. average price for diesel is $3.33.
Idaho′s gas prices are well below the record $3.28 mark set in late May, but Carlson said the markets suggest every petroleum product could get more expensive in the next several weeks. At $100 a barrel, the price of oil necessary to produce a gallon of gasoline is $2.40 a gallon. “When you add in refining costs, delivery, state and federal taxes and retail profit, it′s quite clear gas prices could hit new high marks,” Carlson said.
Here′s how Idaho communities compared to the state′s $3.02 average price for regular grade gasoline today: Boise, $2.99; Pocatello, $2.90; Idaho Falls, $2.97; Coeur d′Alene, $3.07, Moscow, $3.16; Lewiston, $3.06; McCall, $3.16; Twin Falls, $3.02.