Gas prices drop in area
BONNERS FERRY — The average price for a gallon of regular in the Gem State was $3.94 on Monday, which is a nickel less than a week ago, 20 cents less than a month ago, and 42 cents less than a year ago, according to AAA.
Meanwhile, the national average sits at $3.55 per gallon, which is also a nickel less than a week ago, but 30 cents less than a month ago and 25 cents less than a year ago.
Idaho ranks eighth in the country for most expensive fuel behind California ($5.44), Washington ($4.79), Hawaii ($4.76), Nevada ($4.70), Oregon ($4.45), Alaska ($4.37) and Arizona ($4.19). At $3.02 per gallon, the cheapest fuel can be purchased in Georgia.
In Bonner County, the cost of a gallon of unleaded gasoline ranged from $3.89 to $3.94 while in Boundary County, the cost of a gallon of gasoline averaged roughly the same. In the Coeur d'Alene area, prices dipped into the $3.80s at some stations, with most still in the $3.90s and a few still over the $4 mark.
“Montana and Utah, where most of our refined gasoline comes from, both have cheaper state averages than we do. With any luck, a slump in local fuel demand will help bring down our pump prices even faster,” said AAA Idaho public affairs director Matthew Conde. “Unfortunately, the cost of crude oil is all over the place, returning to the $90 mark late last week. If crude remains unstable, the savings on fill-ups may be slow in coming.”
The West Texas Intermediate benchmark for crude oil hovered near $70 per barrel in May and June before ramping up to the $80 mark in August and topping the $90 mark in September. Prices have held in the mid-to-upper $80 range since that time.
“Nationwide, gasoline demand jumped by another 400,000 barrels per day last week, and stock levels also declined,” Conde said. “Combine that with some topsy-turvy oil prices, and a return to $4 gas in Idaho this year is still in the realm of possibility — at least for now.”
Here’s a look at Idaho gas prices as of Monday: Boise, $3.96; Franklin, $3.94; Idaho Falls, $3.88; Lewiston, $3.95; and Pocatello, $3.88.