BOISE – Drivers in the Treasure Valley are filling up their cars with $4 gas for the first time this year, and the rest of the state may follow in a matter of days and weeks.

According to AAA, the average price for a gallon of regular in the Boise area topped the $4 mark yesterday (April 17).  Area pump prices didn’t reach that mark until June 7 last year, and the state average didn’t hit $4 until August 4.

Idaho’s average price is currently at $3.93 for regular, a 9% increase from a year ago.  Utah, which supplies most of the Gem State’s finished gasoline, is about 7.5% higher than last year at $3.97 per gallon.  The national average sits at $3.67 per gallon, just a fraction of a penny cheaper than a year ago.

Today, 21 of the 50 states, including Idaho, have higher pump prices than a year ago.

“Fuel prices could ebb and flow a little bit before the unofficial start of road trip season around Memorial Day, but the overall trend of more expensive fill-ups will likely continue throughout the spring and into the summer,” says AAA Idaho public affairs director Matthew Conde.  “We’re hoping for a brief lull for a few weeks to catch our breath, but strong gasoline demand and additional upward pressure on pump prices could be fast approaching.”

AAA says that while conflicts between Ukraine and Russia, and Israel and Iran, have stoked fear and uncertainty in the crude oil market, crude prices, which soared as high as $87 per barrel earlier this month, have dipped slightly in recent days.  The West Texas Intermediate benchmark for crude oil is currently trading near $83 per barrel.

“Pump prices in the Panhandle and some parts of Eastern Idaho are currently trailing some of the bigger hotspots, like the Boise, Twin Falls, and Franklin areas, but if higher prices continue, they will eventually raise all the ships in the harbor,” Conde said.