BOISE – Now that the school year is in the rearview mirror, Idaho families are hitting the road on summer vacation, and gas prices are rising in response.  But the ascent has been slowed by stable crude prices – at least, for now.

According to AAA, Idaho’s average price for a gallon of regular is $3.97, which is eight cents more than a week ago and 22 cents more than a month ago.  The national average currently sits at just $3.59 per gallon, a four-cent jump from a week ago and a nickel more than a month ago.

Today, the Gem State ranks 10th in the country for most expensive fuel behind California ($4.90), Washington ($4.81), Hawaii ($4.74), Oregon ($4.45), Arizona ($4.29), Nevada ($4.27), Utah ($4.15), Alaska ($4.03), and Illinois ($3.98).  Idaho also had the 10th largest change in pump prices this week.

“Idahoans are definitely feeling the effects of more-expensive fill-ups, but on the bright side, they’re nowhere near the $5.10 per gallon that we paid a year ago,” says AAA Idaho public affairs director Matthew Conde.  “People who changed or canceled their travel plans last year aren’t going to be deterred by where prices are at today.”

AAA says that last year, the Idaho state average topped out at $5.25 per gallon on July 1.  Barring unforeseen changes to current conditions, pump prices are expected to remain well below that mark this year.

According to the Energy Information Administration, gasoline demand rose by more than 100,000 barrels to 9.2 million per day, and supplies decreased by 2.7 million barrels.  If demand increases this week or if supplies tighten, fuel prices could continue to climb.

Meanwhile, the cost of crude oil has dropped despite Saudi Arabia’s recent announcement that it will cut another 1 million barrels of production beginning in July.  The West Texas Intermediate benchmark for crude is currently trading near $67 per barrel, which is $5 less than a week ago, $4 less than a month ago and a stunning $54 less than a year ago.  If crude inventories are depleted by summer demand, the cost of crude is likely to rise, with gas prices following suit.

“On the supply side, refineries are producing at their highest levels this year, with a 91% utilization rate in our region and additional capacity expected with the return of operations at the Suncor facility in Colorado,” Conde said.  “Hopefully, the higher production will catch up and keep pace with demand to help pump prices stay manageable.”

The EIA further reports that gasoline stocks in the Rockies region fell to 6.4 million barrels before Memorial Day and are slowly rebuilding toward the 7.5 to 8 million barrels that usually stored in the area.

Today, average gas prices in the Treasure Valley, the Panhandle, and in the Franklin/Bear Lake areas are already above the $4 mark.  While Pocatello, Lewiston, and Rexburg are close behind, drivers in Idaho Falls and Twin Falls are faring slightly better.

Here’s a look at Idaho gas prices as of 6/12/23:

  • Boise – $4.01
  • Coeur d’Alene – $4.01
  • Franklin – $4.15
  • Idaho Falls – $3.84
  • Lewiston – $3.96
  • Pocatello – $3.98
  • Rexburg – $3.95
  • Twin Falls – $3.85