Idaho's gas prices are barely above the national average, AAA said Tuesday.
Last week's 5.5-cent-per-gallon increase pushed Idaho's average price for regular gasoline to a penny higher than the average price of gas elsewhere in the U.S.
According to AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge Report, Idaho's average price Tuesday was $3.85.
“The average U.S. mark is a bit more stable than it was in August when regional refinery and pipeline problems – added to rising oil prices – were making for more rapid increases at the pump,” said AAA Idaho spokesman Dave Carlson in a news release.
Even so, gas prices continue to climb. In the past month, the U.S. average price has risen 18 cents. Idaho’s average price, which trailed the national average by 12 cents a month ago, has risen 28 cents since then to overtake the national average.
Even with the 28-cent increase in the past month, Idaho’s current $3.855 average is still well below the $4.04 and $4.06 averages in Oregon and Washington, respectively. Nine states currently have average prices above $4.00 a gallon, AAA said.
Today’s average price in Idaho is the highest ever for this calendar day and is 13.5 cents higher than a year ago. Likewise, today’s U.S. mark is 18 cents higher than a year ago, continuing a streak of more than three weeks of daily records.
Gas prices had increased from the Gulf Coast to the Midwest as markets prepared for possible supply and distribution disruptions from Hurricane Isaac. However, as concern over the lasting impact of the storm has diminished and Gulf Coast refiners have successfully restarted production, prices in these states have dropped.
Conflicting economic factors last week resulted in little net change in oil prices, AAA said. "Continued bearish economic news,” both domestically and internationally, pressured prices lower, but tight supplies and rumors of a potential third round of quantitative easing by the Federal Reserve designed to stimulate the U.S. economy pressured prices higher, AAA said.
“It’s reasonable to assume that the national average price will decline as demand drops off following the busy summer driving period,” Carlson said. In addition, refineries are switching from summer-blend fuels to less expensive winter-blend gasoline.