BOISE – For Idaho drivers, “Fall” can’t arrive fast enough – as in falling gas prices.  But unfortunately, Gem State pump prices are still climbing amid a sharp uptick in the cost of crude oil and continued high fuel demand over the Labor Day weekend.

According to AAA, Idaho’s average price for a gallon of regular is $4.16, which is a penny more than a week ago and 15 cents more than a month ago.  Meanwhile, the national average currently sits at $3.81, which is a penny less than a week ago and two cents less than a month ago.

Today, the Gem State ranks 9th in the country for most expensive fuel behind California ($5.33), Washington ($5.09), Hawaii ($4.79), Oregon ($4.74), Alaska ($4.61), Nevada ($4.54), Arizona ($4.33), and Utah ($4.29).

“With price hikes slowing down this week, it would be tempting to say that better days are right around the corner.  Sadly, we’re not out of the woods just yet,” says AAA Idaho public affairs director Matthew Conde.  “Fuel demand is holding steady, and the cost of crude oil has shot up $6 per barrel in the last few days.  There’s a real possibility that pump prices could climb through mid-September and even beyond.”

According to the Energy Information Administration, fuel demand jumped slightly to more than 9 million barrels per day on the week, while gasoline stocks dropped slightly.  The combination of lower supplies, robust demand, and expensive crude oil is putting upward pressure on the price of fill-ups, and the situation may be further aggravated by the continuation of hurricane season.

The West Texas Intermediate benchmark for crude oil is trading near $87 per barrel, which is $6 more than a week ago, $5 more than a month ago, and about the same as a year ago.  Ongoing production cuts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) are straining global supplies as the market attempts to meet current levels of demand.

“We’re keeping our fingers crossed that we’ll see a reversal of fortune sometime in the next few weeks – downward pressure on pump prices due to lower demand, and the return of winter-blend fuel, which is cheaper to make than summer-blend,” Conde said.  “But for now, we’re all tightening our budgets and hanging on for the ride.”

AAA recommends bundling trips to conserve fuel and taking advantage of fuel rewards points from grocery store and other purchases.

Here’s a look at Idaho gas prices as of 9/5/23:

Boise – $4.21

Coeur d’Alene – $4.10

Franklin – $4.32

Idaho Falls – $4.08

Lewiston – $4.03

Pocatello – $4.19

Rexburg – $4.14

Twin Falls – $4.06